Sosan Zenji (Seng-Tsan) - the 3rd Zen Patriarch

The Great Way is not difficult
for those who have no preferences

When love and hate are both absent
everything becomes clear and undisguised

Make the smallest distinction however
and heaven and earth are set infinitely apart

If you wish to see the truth
then hold no opinions for or against anything

To set-up what you like against what
you dislike is the disease of the mind

When the deep meaning of things is not understood
the mind's essential peace is disturbed to no avail

The Way is perfect like vast space
where nothing is lacking and nothing is in excess

Indeed, it is due to our choosing to accept or reject
that we do not see the true nature of things

Live neither in the entanglements of outer things
nor in the inner feelings of emptiness

Be serene in the Oneness of things
and such erroneous views will disappear by themselves

When you try to stop activity to acheive passivity
your very effort fills you with activity

As long as you remain in one extreme or the other
you will never know Oneness

Those who do not live in the single Way
fail in both activity and passivity, assertion and denial

To deny the reality of things is to miss their reality;
to assert the emptiness of things is to miss their reality

The more you talk and think about it
the further astray you wander from the truth

Stop talking and thinking
and there is nothing you will not be able to know

To return to the root is to find the meaning
but to pursue appearance is to miss the source

At the moment of inner enlightenment
there is a going beyond appearance and emptiness

The changes that appear to occur in the empty world
we call real only because of our ignorance

Do not search for the truth
only cease to cherish opinions

Do not remain in a dualistic state
avoid such pursuits carefully

If there is even a trace of this and that, of right and wrong,
the Mind-essence will be lost in confusion

Although all dualities come from the One
do not be attached even to the One

When the mind exists undisturbed in the Way
nothing in the world can offend

And when things can no longer offend
it ceases to exist in the old way

When no discriminating thoughts arise
the old mind ceases to exist

When thought objects vanish, the thinking subject vanishes
as when the mind vanishes, objects vanish

Things are objects because of the subject (mind)
the mind (subject) is such because of things (object)

Understand the relativity of these two
and the basic reality: the unity of emptiness

In this Emptiness the two are indistinguishable
and each contains in itself the whole world

If you do not discriminate between coarse and fine
you will not be tempted to prejudice and opinion

To live in the Great Way
is neither easy nor difficult

But those with limited views
are fearful and irresolute

The faster they hurry, the slower they go
and clinging (attachment) cannot be limited

Even to be attached to the idea of enlightenment
is to go astray

Just let things be in their own way
and there will be neither coming nor going

Obey the nature of things (your own nature)
and you will walk freely and undisturbed

When thought is in bondage the truth is hidden
for everything is murky and unclear

And the burdensome practise of judging
brings annoyance and weariness

What benefit can be derived
from distinctions and separations?

If you wish to move in the One Way,
do not dislike even the world of senses and ideas

Indeed, to accept them fully
is identical with true Enlightenment

The wise man strives to no goals
but the foolish man fetters himself

There is one Dharma, not many;
distinctions arise from the clinging needs of the ignorant

To seek Mind with the (discriminating) mind
is the greatest of all mistakes

Rest and unrest derive from passion,
with enlightenment there is no liking or disliking

All dualities come from ignorant inference
they are like dreams or flowers in the air

Foolish to try to grasp them

Gain and loss, right and wrong,
such thoughts must finally be abolished at once

If the eye never sleeps
all dreams will naturally cease

If the mind makes no discriminations
the ten thousand things are as they are - of single essence

To understand the mystery of this One essence
is to be released from all entanglements

When all things are seen equally
the timeless Self-essence is reached

No comparisons or analogies are possible
in this causeless, relationless state

Consider movement stationary,
and the stationary in motion

Both movement and rest disappear
when such dualities cease to exist

Oneness itself cannot exist,
to this ultimate finality no law or description applies

For the unified mind in accord with the Way
all self-centered striving ceases

Doubts and irresolutions vanish
and life in true faith is possible

With a single stroke we are free from bondage
nothing clings to us and we hold to nothing

All is empty, clear, self-illumination
with no exertion of the mind's power

Here thought, feeling, knowledge and imagination are of no value
in this world of Suchness there is neither self nor other than self

To come directly into harmony with this reality
just simply say when doubt arises: "Not two"

In this "not two" nothing is separate, nothing is excluded
no matter when or where, enlightenment means entering this truth

And this truth is beyond extension or diminution in time or space
in it a single thought is ten thousand years

Emptiness here, Emptiness there...
but the infinite universe stands always before your eyes

Infinitely large and infinitely small, no difference
for definitions have vanished and no boundaries are seen

So too with Being and non-Being
Don't waste time in doubts and arguments that have nothing to do with this

One thing, all things:
move along and intermingle without distinction

To live in this realization
is to be without anxiety about non-perfection

To live in this faith is the road to non-duality
Because the non-dual is one with the trusting mind

Words !
The Way is beyond language

For in it there is
no yesterday
no tommorrow
no today

by Seng-Tsan, the third Zen Patriarch.
Translated by Ricahard B. Clarke.

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