Ven. Shen Yen (Chan/Chinese Zen)

Contemplating Mind - By Han Shan Te-ch'ing (1546-1623)

Contemplating Mind - By Han Shan Te-ch'ing (1546-1623)

Contemplating Mind - By Han Shan Te-ch'ing (1546-1623)


    Look upon the body as unreal,

    An image in a mirror,

    Or the reflection of the moon in water.

    Contemplate the mind as formless,

    Yet bright and pure.


    Not a single thought arising,

    Empty, yet perceptive,

    Still, yet illuminating,

    Complete like the Great Emptiness,

    Containing all that is wonderful.


    Neither going out nor coming in,

    Without appearance or characteristics,

    Countless skillful means

    Arise out of one mind.


    Independent of material existence,

    Which is ever an obstruction,

    Do not cling to deluded thoughts.

    These give birth to illusion.


    Attentively contemplate this mind,

    Empty, devoid of all objects.

    If emotions should suddenly arise,

    You will fall into confusion.


    In a critical moment bring back the light,

    Powerfully illuminating.

    Clouds disperse, the sky is clear,

    The sun shines brilliantly.


    If nothing arises within the mind,

    Nothing will manifest without.

    That which has characteristics

    Is not original reality.


    If you can see a thought as it arises,

    This awareness will at once destroy it.

    Whatever state of mind should come,

    Sweep it away, put it down.


    Both good and evil states

    Can be transformed by mind.

    Sacred and profane appear

    In accordance with thoughts.


    Reciting mantras or contemplating mind

    Are merely herbs for polishing a mirror.

    When the dust is removed,

    They are also wiped away.


    Great extensive spiritual powers

    Are all complete within the mind.

    The Pure Land or the Heavens

    Can be travelled to at will.


    You need not seek the real,

    Mind originally is Buddha.

    The familiar becomes remote,

    The strange seems familiar.


    Day and night, everything is wonderful.

    Nothing you encounter confuses you.

    These are the essentials of mind.

Vajra World

Vajra World