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The Way is perfect like unto vast space,
With nothing wanting, nothing superfluous:
It is indeed due to making choices
That its suchness is lost sight of.
Pursue not the outer entanglements,
Dwell not in the inner void;
When the mind rests serene in the oneness of things,
The dualism vanishes by itself.
When you strive to gain quiescence by stopping motion,
The quiescence thus gains is ever in motion;
As long as you tarry in the dualism,
How can you realize oneness?
- Third Ch'an Patriarch Chien-chih Seng-ts'an
Asking without knowing.
Answering, still not understanding.
The moon is cold, the wind is high--
On the ancient cliff, frigid juniper.
How delightful: on the road,
He met a man who had attained the Path.
And didn't use speech or silence to reply.
His hand grasps the white jade whip.
And smashes the black dragon's pearl.
If he hadn't smashed it,
He would have increased its flaws.
- Hsueh-tou (980-1052)
Long seeking it through others,
I was far from reaching it.
Now I go by myself;
I meet it everywhere.
It is just I myself,
And I am not itself.
Understanding this way,
I can be as I am.
- Tung-Shan (806-869)
Sitting silently, practice meditation.
Continuously and gently regulate your breathing;
One yin and one yang brewing in the internal cauldron.
Nature must be enlightened, life be preserved.
Don't rush, let the fire burn slowly.
Close your eyes and look at your heart of life.
Let tranquility and spontaneity be the source.
In a hundred days you will see a result.
The beauty is boundless and inexplicable,
All over the body vital energy arises.
Who can know such a marvelous experience?
Let the mind be still, and life be strong.
The spirit radiates throughout 3,000 worlds.
Golden cockerel crows beneath the shadowless tree,
The red lotus blossoms in the middle of night.
Winter comes the sun shines again,
A thunderous roar shatters heaven and earth.
Dragons call, tigers play,
Heavenly music fills the sky with harmony.
In nebulous mixture everything is empty,
The infinite phenomena are all here.
Marvelous in its mystery, mysterious in its marvel.
The circulation of the stream breaks through the three obstacles;
All phenomena are born in the union of heaven and earth.
Drink the dew of nature, sweet like honey,
Saints are buddhas, buddhas are saints.
When the ultimate reality reveals dualism disappears,
Now I realize all religions are the same!
Eat when hungry, sleep when tired,
Offer a joss stick and practice meditation.
The great Tao is just before your eyes,
If you are deluded, you'll miss the chance.
Once you've lost your human form you may have to wait a million eons.
The uninformed dream of going to heaven,
The blind go into a deep forest to practice.
The four true principles you have to cultivate,
Breaking the gate of mystery to reach the marvelous.
Cultivate day and nigh without break,
Get a master early to develop your elixir.
There are people who know that real mercury
Is the elixir of longevity and immortality.
Cultivate each day, be more determined each day.
- Taoist Master Zhang San-Feng, circa 1300 CE
Song of Silent Sitting
“Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small. A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.”