Essence of Mind Dharma
Composed by Bhikkhu Chenguan, Great Flower-Adornment Monastery, Tang Dynasty
Ultimate Truth has its basis in the Mind,
Mind Dharma has its basis in non-abiding;
The Non-abiding Mind Essence is
Clear awareness without obscuration.
Essence-form, still as it is
Contains all functions and manifestations
Encompassing both interior and exterior,
Vast with nothing external, deep with nothing internal,
Neither void nor existence,
Unattainable yet cannot be rejected
Lost in phenomena, mired confusion and suffering,
Awaken to true nature, enlightens emptiness’s entirety
Though the Mind is the Buddha,
This is solely known by those who have realized
Holding on to realization and knowledge,
Wisdom sinks behind the ground of existence;
Without awareness and realization, however
The cloud of confusion shrouds at the door of nothingness.
In the non-arising of thought,
where before and after ended,
The illuminator stands singularly,
As both subject and object
Directly illuminate the Source of the Mind,
No knowledge, no attainment;
Nothing to take, none to give,
No object, and no cultivation
Know that ignorance and awakening,
Dependent on different paths,
Reality and illusion,
Are mutually exclusive aspects;
If one seeks the real by getting rid of the illusory
It is like the wasteful effort of dodging shadows;
If one understands illusion is without essence,
It is like destroying shadows by remaining in emptiness.
If one forgets mind and let go of seeking,
Then all afflictions are foregone;
If one functions through essence,
Then all manifestations arise in perfection.
Without grasping what which comes and goes,
One never lose sight of the Source in still contemplation;
Silence preserves the Profundity,
Movement and stillness never departs from the Essence.
In the absence of words, contemplation and stillness are both forgotten,
In the functioning of words, contemplation and stillness are both illuminated;
The realization cannot be expressed through words,
There is no understanding without direct realization.
The realization of stillness is not nothingness,
True wisdom is empty of knowledge;
Through the non-dual wisdom-stillness one-mind,
Penetrate to the Middle-Way of emptiness-existence.