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Friends Talk is an open blog that welcomes interaction not only with Friends of One members, but also with anyone who is seeking to know and understand why we are here in this world and learn to recognize that we live in a world that is dominated by lies and ignorance that denies happiness and the freedom to be what we are, which is Pure Consciousness free from fear and limitation.

Insights October: Taoism

 Insights October 2022

Taoism is the original religion of ancient China. It is founded on the idea that a fundamental principle, the Tao, underlies all nature.

The early Chinese teachers of meditation (called Dhyana or Ch ‘an) absorbed the Taoist tradition of intuitive wisdom.

The Buddhist movement in India split into two different sects known as Theravada and Mahayana. The Theravada Buddhists are located mainly in South Asia, Sri Lanka, and Burma. They venerate the early writings called the Pali Canon. The followers of the Mahayana Buddhists, who include followers in China, Japan, and Tibet created a vast new creation of complex theologies, and the Chinese Ch ‘an grew out of the Mahayana.

Sin-Sin Ming is one of the first known treatises of Ch ‘an  and he died at the beginning of the 7th century AD

It is a brilliant work that clearly presents what is needed to follow The Way of the Ch ‘an. And is this month’s Insights

Sin-Sin-Ming

By

Seng-Ts’an

The Great Way knows no difficulties

Since it is beyond choosing. 

Be free from hate and love;

Then it appears in perfect clarity.

If one stray’s from it by a hair’s breadth

Heaven and earth are born.

If you wish to find it

Be neither for nor against anything.

The conflict between for and against

Is the sickness of the mind.

If you do not understand the deep meaning of the Way

You waste your time pacifying the mind.

As perfect as vast space,

Nothing is lacking to the Way; nothing is beyond it.

It is due to making choices

That we lose sight of its nature.

Neither pursue the world of causality,

Nor dwell in inner vacuity,

When the mind rests serene in the One

Dualism vanishes of itself.

When unity is not lived

We lose sight of the Way:

Denying the world can lead to its total negation,

And maintaining the void is a contradiction in itself.

The more we speak, the more we intellectualize,

The further astray from the Way.

And then with wordiness and intellection

And all ways freely open to us.

Returning to the root, we regain the meaning. 

Chasing after appearances, we lose the origin. 

The moment our attention turns inward, 

We go beyond the void of worldly things.

The play of manifestation appears real

All because of ignorance,

No need to search for truth, 

Just put an end to points of view.

Do not linger in duality, 

Attentively avoid remaining there,

If the least trace of right and wrong appear,

Confusion ensures clarity of mind is lost.

Duality exists because of the one,

Be not attached to this one, 

Once the mind is undisturbed

We give no hold to the ten thousand things.

If things do not attract or offend us, they are as if non-existent;

When the mind is undisturbed, where is the mind?

When the subject is desireless, where is the object?

Non-existent object, non-existent mind.

The object exists for a subject

And the subject exists for an object,

Know that this relativity has its root

In the oneness of the void.

In the oneness of the void, the two are one,

And each contains in itself ten thousand things.

Making no distinction between this and that

How could a prejudiced or fragmentary view arise?

The Great Way is vast and serene

In it nothing is easy, nothing is difficult.

Particular points of view are wavering and irresolute.

Conceived in haste, they only detain us.

Attachments know no bounds,

We are sure to go astray,

Let go and things follow their own nature,

Their essence remains unaffected.

Intervene not in the nature of things and you are in accord with the Way,

Serene, at ease, free from all conflict.

But if our thoughts are restrained we turn away from the truth,

They grow dull and heavy, and are subject to error.

When they are in error, the mind is disturbed,

Then, what is the use of avoiding this and desiring that?

If you want to follow the path of the One Vehicle

Harbour no aversions to objects of the six senses,

With neither complicity nor aversions to objects of the six senses.

You dwell in Enlightenment, 

The wise are not wilful

While the ignorant forge their own chains.

Although the Dharma knows no distinctions,

We blindly stay attached to particular things,

It is our minds that create illusion,

Is this not the greatest of contradictions?

Ignorance begets the duality of rest and unrest,

Illumination annihilates attachment and aversion.

All forms of duality

Are traps contrived by the ignorant mind.

Visions in dreams, flowers in the air:

Why should we bother to grasp hold of them?

Gain and loss, true and false,

Let them go once and for all!

For an eye that never sleeps

All dreams vanish of themselves,

If the mind does not lose itself in differences

The ten thousand things are of one single identity.

Once we understand the mystery of things in their single identity –

Suddenly, all attachment leaves us,

When the ten thousand things are seen in their oneness

We return to the source and remain where we are.

Seek not the wherefore of things

And you attain a state beyond comparison.

Arrested movement is no movement,

And rest set in motion is no rest.

The frontiers of the ultimate

Are not guarded by rules or measures, 

The mind integrated in the essence of unity,

All activity has its source in silence.

When doubts are swept away, 

All hesitation disappears, right faith is restored to its natural straightness.

Nothing to retain,

Nothing to remember,

All is void, lucid and self-illuminating,

No strain, no effort, no wastage of energy.

The Absolute is not a place measurable by thought,

Knowledge is unable to fathom it,

In the supreme realm of true identity

There is neither ‘other’ nor ‘self’.

In not being two, all is the same,

There is nothing not contained therein, 

The wise in every locality

All enter into the primary origin.

The origin is beyond time and space.

One instant is like unto ten thousand years,

Neither present nor absent despite all conditioning,

It is manifest everywhere before you.

The infinitely small is infinitely large

When one is lost in the manifestation.

The infinitely large is infinitely small 

When the eye no longer splits things apart.

What is, is the same as what is not,

What is not is the same as what is,

There where this state is not evident

One must not sojourn.

The one is in the multiple –

The multiple is in the one,

If this truth is realized

Of what use to attain perfection?

The vacant mind is non-dual

And the non-dual is the vacuity,

Here the paths of language fail,

For this is not of the past nor present nor future.

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