The Book of Nothing
By Hsin Hsin Ming
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 opinion for or against. The struggle of what one likes and
what one dislikes 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.
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 inner
feelings of emptiness. Be serene without striving activity in the oneness of things
and such erroneous views will disappear by themselves. When you try to stop activity
to achieve 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.
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 hold opinions. Do not remain in the
dualistic state; avoid such pursuits carefully. If there is a trace of this and
that, the right and wrong, the Mind-essence will be lost in confusion.
all dualities come from the One, do not be attached even to this One. When 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 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; the mind is such because of things. 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 no 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 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 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 for no goals but the foolish man fetters himself. There is
one Dharma, truth, law, not many; distinctions arise from the clinging needs of
the ignorant. To seek Mind with the discriminating mind is the greatest of all
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 the air; foolish 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, relation-less state.
Consider movement stationary
and the stationary in motion, and both the state of movement and the state of
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 irresolution's
vanish and life in true faith is possible.
With a single stroke we are freed
from bondage; nothing clings to us and we hold 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 then thousand years.
Emptiness here, Emptiness there, but the infinite
universe stands always before our 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.
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 tomorrow, no today.