The Perfect Way knows no difficulties
Except that it refuses to make preference:
Only when freed from hate and love,
It reveals itself fully and without disguise.
A tenth of an inch's difference,
And heaven and earth are set apart:
If you want to see it manifest,
Take no thought either for or against it.
To set up what you like against what you dislike –
This is the disease of the mind:
When the deep meaning [of the Way] is not understood
Peace of mind is disturbed and nothing is gained.
[The Way is] perfect like unto vast space,
With nothing wanting, nothing superfluous:
It is indeed due to making choice
That its suchness is lost sight of.
Pursue not the outer entanglements,
Dwell not in the inner void;
When the mind rests serene in the oneness of things,
The dualism vanishes by itself.
When you strive to gain quiescence by stopping motion,
The quiescence thus gained is ever in motion;
As long as you tarry in the dualism,
How can you realize oneness?
And when oneness is not thoroughly understood,
In two ways loss is sustained –
The denial of reality may lead to its absolute negation,
While the upholding of the void may result in contradicting itself.
Wordiness and intellection –
The more with them the further astray we go;
Away therefore with wordiness and intellection,
And there is no place where we cannot pass freely.
When we return to the root, we gain the meaning;
When we pursue external objects, we lose the reason.
The moment we are enlightened within,
We go beyond the voidness of a world confronting us.
Transformations going on in an empty world which confronts us,
Appear real all because of Ignorance:
Try not to seek after the true,
Only cease to cherish opinions.
Tarry not with dualism,
Carefully avoid pursuing it;
As soon as you have right and wrong,
Confusion ensues, and mind is lost.
The two exist because of the one,
But hold not even to this one;
When the one mind is not disturbed,
The ten thousand things offer no offence.
When no offence is offered by them, they are as if not existing;
When the mind is not disturbed, it is as if there is no mind.
The subject is quieted as the object ceases,
The object ceases as the subject is quieted.
The object is an object for the subject,
The subject is a subject for an object:
Know that the relativity of the two
Rests ultimately on the oneness of the void.
In the oneness of the void the two are one,
And each of the two contains in itself all the ten thousand things:
When no discrimination is made between this and that,
How can a one-sided and prejudiced view arise?
The Great Way is calm and large-minded,
Nothing is easy, nothing is hard:
Small views are irresolute,
The more in haste the tardier they go.
Clinging never keeps itself within bounds,
It is sure to go the wrong way:
Let go loose, and things are as they may be,
While the essence neither departs nor abides.
Obey the nature of things, and you are in concord with the Way,
Calm and easy and free from annoyance;
But when your thoughts are tied, you turn away from the truth,
They grow heavier and duller and are not at all sound.
When they are not sound, the soul is troubled;
What is the use of being partial and one-sided then?
If you want to walk the course of the One Vehicle,
Be not prejudiced against the six sense-objects.
When you are not prejudiced against the six sense-objects,
You in turn identify yourself with Enlightenment;
The wise are non-active,
While the ignorant bind themselves up;
While in the Dharma itself there is no individuation,
They ignorantly attach themselves to particular objects.
It is their own mind that creates illusions –
Is this not the greatest of self-contradictions?
Ignorance begets the dualism of rest and unrest,
The enlightened have no likes and dislikes:
All forms of dualism
Are ignorantly contrived by the mind itself.
They are like unto visions and flowers in the air:
Why should we trouble ourselves to take hold of them?
Gain and loss, right and wrong –
Away with them once for all!
If an eye never falls asleep,
All dreams will by themselves cease:
If the mind retains its oneness,
The ten thousand things are of one suchness.
When the deep mystery of one suchness is fathomed,
All of a sudden we forget the external entanglements:
When the ten thousand things are viewed in their oneness,
We return to the origin and remain what we are.
Forget the wherefore of things,
And we attain to a state beyond analogy:
Movement stopped is no movement,
And rest set in motion is no rest.
When dualism does no more obtain,
Even oneness itself remains not as such.
The ultimate end of things where they cannot go any further,
Is not bound by rules and measures:
The mind in harmony [with the Way] is the principle of identity
In which we find all doings in a quiescent state;
Irresolutions are completely done away with,
And the right faith is restored to its native straightness;
Nothing is retained now,
Nothing is to be memorized,
All is void, lucid, and self-illuminating,
There is no stain, no exertion, no wasting of energy –
This is where thinking never attains,
This is where the imagination fails to measure.
In the higher realm of True Suchness
There is neither "other" nor "self":
When a direct identification is asked for,
We can only say, "Not two."
In being not two all is the same,
All that is is comprehended in it:
The wise in the ten quarters,
They all enter into this absolute faith.
This absolute faith is beyond quickening [time] and extension [space].
One instant is ten thousand years;
No matter how things are conditioned, whether with "to be" or "not to be",
It is manifest everywhere before you
The infinitely small is as large as large can be,
When external conditions are forgotten;
The infinitely large is as small as small can be,
When objective limits are put out of sight.
What is, is the same with what is not,
What is not, is the same with what is:
Where this state of things fails to obtain,
Be sure not to tarry.
One in all,
All in one –
If only this is realized;
No more worry about your not being perfect!
The believing mind is not divided,
And undivided is the believing mind –
This is where words fail,
For it is not of the past, future, or present.
Another Verse Attributed to Chien-chih Seng-ts'an
Trans. DT Suzuki, found in Manual of Zen Buddhism.
One Reality only –
How deep and far-reaching!
The ten thousand things –
How confusingly multifarious!
The true and the conventional are indeed intermingling,
But essentially of the same substance they are.
The wise and the unenlightened are indeed distinguishable,
But in the Way they are united as one.
Desirest thou to find its limits?
How broadly expanding! It is limitless!
How vaguely it vanishes away! Its ends are never reached!
It originates in beginningless time, it terminates in endless time.