by Third Patriarch Seng Can
The Supreme Way is difficult
Only for those who pick and choose.
Simply let go of love and hate;
The Way will fully reveal itself.
The slightest distinction
Results in a difference as great as heaven and earth.
For the Way to manifest,
Hold not to likes and dislikes.
The contention of likes and dislikes
Is a disease of the mind.
Without realizing the Profound Principle,
It is futile to practice stillness.
Intrinsically perfect like the Great Void,
Without lack, without excess;
In choosing to grasp or reject,
One is blind to Suchness.
Neither pursue conditioned existence,
Nor stay in idle emptiness.
In oneness and equality,
All self-boundaries dissolve.
Trying to still action
Is an action itself.
Still trapped in duality,
How can you recognize oneness?
Failing to penetrate the meaning of oneness,
Neither side will function.
Banishing existence entwines you in existence;
Pursuing emptiness turns you away from it.
The more you talk and think,
The more you go astray;
Cease all speech and thought,
Then everywhere you are with the Way.
To attain the principle, return to the source;
Pursuing reflections, the essence is lost.
Inner illumination, in a moment,
Surpasses idle emptiness.
The appearance of this idle emptiness
Results entirely from deluded views.
No need to search for truth,
Just put to rest all views.
Abide not in dualistic views;
Take heed not to pursue them.
As soon as right and wrong arise,
The mind is bewildered and lost.
Two comes from one,
Hold on not even to one.
When not even one thought arises,
All dharmas are flawless.
Free of flaws, free of dharmas,
No arising, no thought.
The subject disappears with its object,
The object vanishes without its subject.
Objects are objects because of subjects,
Subjects are subjects because of objects.
Know that these two
Are essentially of one emptiness.
The one emptiness unites opposites,
Equally pervading all phenomena.
Not differentiating what is fine or coarse,
How can there be any preferences?
The Great Way is all embracing,
Neither easy nor difficult.
The narrow minded doubt this;
In haste, they fall behind.
With clinging one loses judgment
And will surely go astray.
Let everything follow its own nature;
The Essence neither goes nor stays.
To follow your true nature is to unite with the Way,
Be at ease and worries will cease.
Fixation of thought is unnatural,
Yet laziness of mind is undesirable.
Not wanting to wear down the spirit,
Why do you hold dear or alienate?
To enter the One Vehicle,
Be not prejudice against the six dusts.
To have no prejudice toward the six dusts
Is to come into true enlightenment.
The wise abide in wu-wei,
The fools entangle themselves.
Dharmas do not differ,
Yet the deluded desire and cling.
To seek the mind with the mind–
Is this not a great error?
In delusion chaos and stillness arise,
In enlightenment there is no desire and aversion.
The duality of all things
Comes from false discrimination.
Dreams, illusions, like flowers in the sky—
How can they be worth grasping?
Gain and loss, right and wrong–
Abandon these at once.
If your eyes are open
Dreams will naturally cease.
If the mind makes no distinctions,
All dharmas are of One Suchness.
In the profound essence of this Suchness,
One abandons all conditioning.
Beholding the myriad dharmas in their entirety
Things return to their natural state.
As all grounds for distinction vanish,
Nothing can be compared or described.
When what is still moves, there is no motion;
When what is moving stops, there is no stillness.
Since two cannot be established,
How can there be one?
Reaching the ultimate,
Rules and measures are nonexistent.
Achieving a mind of impartiality,
All striving comes to an end;
Doubts are completely cleared,
In right faith the mind is set straight.
Nothing to linger upon,
Nothing to remember.
Clear, empty, and self-illuminating,
The mind exerts no effort.
This is beyond the sphere of thought,
Which reason and feeling cannot fathom.
In the Dharma Realm of True Suchness,
There are neither self nor others.
To reach accord with it at once
Just practice non-duality.
Non-duality embodies all things,
As all things are inseparable.
The wise everywhere
All follow this teaching.
The Way transcends time and space —
One thought for ten thousand years.
Being nowhere yet everywhere,
All places are right before your eyes.
The smallest is the same as the largest,
In the realm free of delusions.
The largest is the same as the smallest;
No boundaries or marks can be seen.
Existence is precisely nonexistence,
Nonexistence is precisely existence.
If you cannot realize this,
Then you should change your ways.
One is everything;
Everything is one.
If you can realize this,
Why worry about not reaching perfection?
Trust in the non-duality of mind;
Non-duality results from trust in mind.
Beyond words and speech,
It is neither past, present, nor future.