The Way of the Heart
By Hsin Hsin Ming (or Sosan), the Third Zen Patriarch
A Rendering by Ram Giri
~ The Way of the Heart is not difficult for those who are not attached to their preferences.
When desire and aversion are both absent, everything becomes clear and undisguised.
Make the smallest judgment, however, and the mind is clouded and the Heart closed.
If you wish to live in the truth of the Heart, then do not attach yourself to opinions for or against anything.
The struggle of what one likes and what one dislikes is the disease of the mind.
When you do not embrace things as they are, the mind’s essential peace is disturbed to no avail.
~ The Way of the Heart 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 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 achieve peace, your very effort disrupts your peace.
As long as you remain in one extreme or the other, you will never know Oneness.
~ Those who do not live in the Heart 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 appearances 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 attach yourself to opinions.
Do not remain in the dualistic state; avoid such pursuits carefully.
If there is even a trace of this and that, of right and wrong, the Heart-essence will be lost in confusion.
Although all dualities come from the One, do not be attached even to this One.
When the heart-mind exists undisturbed in the Way, nothing in the world can offend, and when a thing can no longer offend, it ceases to exist in the old way.
~ When you no longer believe your judgments, the old mind ceases to exist.
When your judgments vanish, the thinking-subject becomes transparent and vanishes, as when the thinking mind vanishes, the ‘reality’ of objects vanishes.
Things are objects because of the subject (mind); the mind (subject) is such because of its belief in the reality of things (objects).
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 Way of the Heart is neither easy nor difficult, but those with limited views are fearful and indecisive; 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 practice of judging brings annoyance and weariness.
What benefit can be derived from distinctions and separation?
If you wish to move in the Way of the Heart, 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, one Truth, one Law, not many; distinctions arise from the clinging needs of the ignorant.
To seek the Heart with the (discriminating) mind is the greatest of all mistakes.
Rest and unrest derive from illusion; with enlightenment there is no liking and disliking.
All dualities come from ignorant inference. They are like dreams or flowers in 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 one 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 lack of clarity vanish, and life in true faith is possible.
With a single stroke we are freed from bondage; nothing clings to us and we hold to nothing.
All is empty, clear, self-illuminating, 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 doubts arise, “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 among 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 of the Heart is beyond language, for in it, there is no yesterday, no tomorrow, no today.