12 May 2020

Poem by Seng Ts’an (also written Sengcan)

I am reading this book called “Religions of Man”. It is a fascinating book and I will write the review later. I just finished up with Hinduism and Buddhism. Have another six religions to go.

This poem is by Seng Ts’an. As I was reading up about him in Wikipedia, found this amazing story of how he – well into his forties – met the monk who eventually became his teacher and gave him the name Seng Ts’an (gem monk). Their interaction (like many koans in Zen Buddhism) went something like this:

Seng Ts’an: I am riddled with sickness. Please absolve me of my sin.
Huike: Bring your sin here and I will absolve you.
Seng Ts’an (after a long pause): When I look for my sin, I cannot find it.
Huike: I have absolved you. You should live by the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha

Any way, the poem called “Trust in the Heart” goes the following way:

The Perfect Way is only difficult for those who pick and choose
Do not like, do not dislike, all will then be clear,
Make a hairbreadth difference, and Heaven and Earth are set apart;
If you want the truth to stand clear before you, never be for or against.
The struggle between “for” and “against” is the mind’s worst disease.
Do not try to drive pain away by pretending that it is not real;
Pain, if you seek serenity in Oneness, will vanish of its own accord.
Thoughts that are fettered turn from Truth,
Sink into the unwise habit of “not liking.”
“Not liking” brings weariness of spirit; estrangements serve no purpose.
The One is non other than the A;;. the All none other than the One.
Take your stand on this, and the rest will follow of its accord;
To trust in the Heart is the “Not Two”, the “Not Two’ is to trust in the Heart
I have spoken, but in vain; for what can words tell
Of things that have no yesterday, tomorrow or today.

Posted May 12, 2020 by Rajib Roy in category "Music/Poetry


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