Looking at the Mind – By Chan / Chinese Zen master Han-shan De-qing (1546–1623)


Looking at the Mind – By Chan / Chinese Zen master Han-shan De-qing (1546–1623)


    Look at what your body is – it is not you

    But an image in the mirror of awareness,

    Just like the reflection of the moon on the water.


    Look at what your mind is – it is not

    The thoughts and feelings that appear within it

    But the bright knowing space that holds them.


    When not a single thought arises, your mind is

    Open, perceptive, serene and luminous;

    It is complete as great all-embracing space

    And holds all kinds of wondrous aspects.


    Your mind does not come or go away,

    Has no particular shape, nor a special way of being.

    But a great many beneficial qualities

    Come all forth from this one knowing being.


    It does not depend on material existence,

    Material existence covers it up!

    Do (therefore) not take vain hopes seriously,

    Vain hopes lead to illusory phenomena.


    Closely investigate this mind, which is

    A knowing emptiness, not containing a thing.

    When you are suddenly flooded with emotions

    Your vision gets unclear, your experience confused.


    Then at once bring back your presence of mind

    And gather all your strengths to reflect.

    The clouds will disperse and the sky will clear:

    The sun of awareness spreads brightly its light.


    If no feelings or thoughts arise within

    No (worrying) circumstance is found without.

    So where lies the original reality,

    Of all that has characteristics?


    If you can be aware of a thought as it arises

    This awareness dissolves the thought at once.

    Sweep away whatever state of mind may come,

    Be present and aware – and you will be free.


    Good and evil, internal or external,

    Transform when you turn towards the heart of it.

    Worldly and spiritual forms

    Come into being through what you think.


    Using a mantra and looking at your mind

    Are means to polish the mirror of awareness;

    Once the obscurations have been removed

    They have no more use and can be dropped.


    All great and deep spiritual abilities

    Are already complete within your mind

    And you can roam as you wish

    To the Pure Land or Heavenly Palace.


    There is no need to seek the Truth

    As your mind is from the start already enlightened.

    When ripe, all things are fresh and new

    When fresh and new, they are inherently already ripe.


    Day and night all things are wondrous

    And you will have faith in whatever you meet.

    The above is what you need to know

    Regarding the mind.