This book provides an intuitive insight into the heart of Zen through a translation of Seng-Ts'an's poem "Hsin Hsin Ming". Reading through the pages you will become familiar with the basic principles of Zen with an interesting collection of perspectives from Quantum Physics to more traditional views of Taoism. These different thoughts are brought together to serve the reader a rewarding experience. "Hsin Hsin Ming" by Seng-Ts'an is the Zen Poem that is often referred to as the poem of nothing.
While very short, it is the fusion of Lao Tzu's Taoism and Buddha's Buddhism into what is known as Zen. It is like a waterfall that you listen to. It says nothing but speaks the unknown to those who can hear it. Become like a temple to hear the what isn't being said. This is to know the meaning of this poem. The central message of the "Hsin Hsin Ming" is to point directly to the mind by giving up judgments and opinions so you can see the Oneness and the Nothingness of what reality really is. The poem professes the need to live life with equanimity, to practice living in a state of non-duality while in this dualistic world. It is a guide to the path of Enlightenment.
It isn't about trying to attain anything, rather it is about losing false views and perceptions. To remove all that the ego so desires to cling to. The path to enlightenment is the realization that there is nothing to find, nowhere to go, nothing to achieve. There is no need to search for God for God has been within you always. God, itself is your true self, your true being. It is nothing more than waking up from the dream. "Upon returning home on a cold winter night, I begin my evening by building a fire in the fireplace to chase away the chill. Once I have gathered the logs and placed them so, I start the fire. At the birth of the flames starting to flicker among the logs, it is in that moment I know that I am releasing all the memories that have been stored up in that tree. I know that I am releasing the sunshine that gave warmth to that tree, that tree from whence the firewood came.
I know that I am releasing the clouds that gave it shade, the rains that quench its thirst, the soil from which it received its nourishment, and all those enjoyments that the tree experienced so joyfully, like those memories of the autumn breeze caressing its leaves and the still of the moonlight on a winter night while that tree stood stoic in deep contemplation. And in the knowing of giving shelter in the spring and being a refuge to the song birds and the animals that called it home. Yes, while I witness the flickering of those flames, I see all of this and more, for the log in the fire is more than what it seems. It is at once an explosion of all its life's experiences and joys, and a reminder of what we leave behind, for this log has shown me, how even I, am connected to it all."
What members say
The commentary is good too, but ch 3 is the actual 8 min poem, so it can easily be listened to over and over.
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- Terrence Taps
Perfect for repeat listening and contemplation.
Enjoyed the poem and the additional historical/mythic content included in this short, but rich, recording. If your are attracted to Taoism/Zen listening to this is a no-brainer.