Verses on the Faith Mind – Hsin Hsin Ming, zen

The Great Way* is not difficult for those who have no preferences. When love and hate are both absent, everything becomes clear and undisguised. Make the smallest distinction, however, and heaven and earth are set infinitely apart. If you wish to see the truth, then hold no opinions for, or against, anything. To set up what you like against what you dislike is the disease of the mind. When the deep meaning of things is not understood, the mind’s essential peace is disturbed to no avail.

The Way is perfect, like vast space where nothing is lacking and nothing is in excess. Indeed, it is due to our choosing to accept or reject that we do not see the true nature of things. Live neither in the entanglements of outer things, nor in inner feelings of emptiness. Be serene in the oneness of things, and such erroneous views will disappear by themselves. When you try to stop activity to achieve passivity, your very effort fills you with activity. As long as you remain in one extreme or the other, you will never know Oneness.

Those who do not live in the single Way fail in both activity and passivity, assertion and denial. To deny the reality of things is to miss their reality; to assert the emptiness of things is to miss their reality. The more you talk and think about it, the further astray you wander from the truth. Stop talking and thinking, and there is nothing you will not be able to know.

To return to the root is to find the meaning, but to pursue appearances is to miss the source. At the moment of inner enlightenment, there is going beyond appearance and emptiness. The changes that appear to occur in the empty world we call real only because of our ignorance. Do not search for the truth; only cease to cherish opinions.

Do not remain in the dualistic state; avoid such pursuits carefully. If there is even a trace of this and that, of right and wrong, the Mind-essence will be lost in confusion. Although all dualities come from the One, do not be attached even to this One. When the mind exists undisturbed in the Way, nothing in the world can offend, and when a thing can no longer offend, it ceases to exist in the old way.

When no discriminating thoughts arise, the old mind ceases to exist. When thought-objects vanish, the thinking-subject vanishes, as when the mind vanishes, objects vanish. Things are objects because of the subject (mind); the mind (subject) is such because of things (objects). Understand the relativity of these two and the basic reality: the unity of emptiness. In this Emptiness the two are indistinguishable and each contains, in itself, the whole world. If you do not discriminate between coarse and fine, you will not be tempted to prejudice and opinion.

To live in the great Way is neither easy nor difficult, but those with limited views are fearful and irresolute; the faster they hurry, the slower they go. And clinging (attachment) cannot be limited. Even to be attached to the idea of enlightenment is to go astray. Just let things be in their own way, and there will be neither coming nor going. Obey the nature of things (your own nature) and you will walk freely and undisturbed.

When thought is in bondage, the truth is hidden, for everything is murky and unclear, and the burdensome practice of judging brings annoyance and weariness. What benefit can be derived from distinctions and separation?

If you wish to move in the one Way, do not dislike even the world of senses and ideas. Indeed, to accept them fully is identical with true enlightenment. The wise man strives to no goals, but the foolish man fetters himself. There is one Dharma, not many; distinctions arise from the clinging needs of the ignorant. To seek Mind with the (discriminating) mind is the greatest of all mistakes.

Rest and unrest derive from illusion; with enlightenment there is no liking and disliking. All dualities come from ignorant inference. They are like dreams or flowers in air; foolish to try to grasp them. Gain and loss, right and wrong; such thoughts must finally be abolished at once.

If the eye never sleeps, all dreams will naturally cease. If the mind makes no discriminations, the ten thousand things are as they are, of single essence. To understand the mystery of this One-essence is to be released from all entanglements. When all things are seen equally, the timeless Self-essence is reached. No comparisons or analogies are possible in this causeless, relationless state.

Consider movement stationary, and the stationary in motion; both movement and rest disappear. When such dualities cease to exist, Oneness itself cannot exist. To this ultimate finality no law or description applies.

For the unified mind in accord with the Way, all self-centered striving ceases. Doubts and irresolutions vanish, and life in true faith is possible. With a single stroke we are freed from bondage; nothing clings to us and we hold to nothing. All is empty, clear, self-illuminating, with no exertion of the mind’s power. Here thought, feeling, knowledge and imagination are of no value. In this world of Suchness, there is neither self nor other-than-self.

To come directly into harmony with this reality, just simply say when doubts arise, “Not two”. In this “not two”, nothing is separate, nothing is excluded. No matter when or where, enlightenment means entering this truth. And this truth is beyond extension or diminution in time or space; in it, a single thought is ten thousand years.

Emptiness here, emptiness there, but the infinite universe stands always before your eyes. Infinitely large and infinitely small; no difference, for definitions have vanished and no boundaries are seen. So, too, with being and non-being. Don’t waste time in doubts and arguments that have nothing to do with this. One thing, all things, move among and intermingle without distinction. To live in this realization is to be without anxiety about non-perfection. To live in this faith is the road to non-duality, because the non-dual is one with the trusting mind.

Words! The Way is beyond language, for in it, there is no yesterday, no tomorrow, no today.

* NOTE: The Chinese character translate

What is Awareness? ~ Rupert Spira

Reincarnation and Karma: How It All Works ~ Gadadhara Pandit Dasa

Do we only live once? It all depends on one’s perspective. If you think we’re nothing but chemicals with no soul, then yes, it is the end. If you believe in only one life and then it’s heaven or hell, then no. It’s especially not the end if you happen to believe in reincarnation. Reincarnation suggests this is not our first life on Earth and it’s most likely not our last. The Hindu perspective suggests we have been around for millions of lifetimes and that there may be millions ahead. In that sense, we are all “old souls.”

What is it that reincarnates and how exactly does it happen?

The Bhagavad Gita, the ancient text of India suggests that the soul leaves when the
body dies. The type of body and psychological disposition — likes, dislikes, phobias, etc., one receives upon rebirth is dependent on the actions (karma) within that one life combined with the actions from previous lives. By some inconceivable system, all of one’s positive and negative deeds are recorded. This means, no one gets away with anything. Moreover, all positive and negative actions create within the individual a psychological disposition to continue performing that action. For example, if one starts stealing or gets in the habit of lying and doesn’t try to change these tendencies, then in the next life, one will pick up where they left off. The same goes for positive actions.

The mind propels us into action based on its conditioning which is based on past actions. So, when the body reaches its demise, the mind and soul get transferred into, hopefully, another human womb. Even while in the womb, the mind remains active and is recalling events from the previous life. In a NYTimes article “Do Babies Dream,” Charles P. Pollack, director of Center for Sleep Medicine at New York-Presbyterian/Weill explains, “Most dreaming occurs during a type of sleep called REM sleep…which ‘…occurs at all life stages, including infancy, and even before infancy, in fetal life.'”

This article doesn’t establish the fact that the dreams of the fetus are from previous lives, but it does indicate that the little guy is dreaming. If he or she hasn’t lived before, what in the world could it be dreaming of?

The mind functions kind of like a hard drive with millions of files on it. If a hard drive is transferred into a different computer, the new computer will have all the same information as the previous one. So, when the mind and soul are relocated into a new body, the exterior is different, but all the programming stored in the mind are exactly the same. This programming will make the person behave in very much the same way as they did in the previous life because the conditioning and impressions are the same. The car may be different, but the driver is the same. Hence, we are not very different from who we were in our previous life.

This might help to explain the phenomena of children with past life memories. The memories are very specific and can often be verified. Dr. Ian Stevenson, the founder and director of the University of Virginia’s Division of Perceptual Studies researched and wrote about this phenomena extensively.

Most adherents of the Hindu and Buddhist traditions will have little difficulty accepting that the soul moves through different bodies until it ultimately purifies itself of anger, greed, envy and pride. This might be because life is seen as a cyclical phenomena in the East as opposed to a linear one in the West. All the intricacies of karma and reincarnation will always remain mysterious to the human mind, but knowing that I will get a second or third chance, gives me hope.


Pandit currently serves as a lecturer and the first-ever Hindu chaplain of Columbia University, New York University, and Union Theological Seminary. He teaches courses on the the Bhagavad Gita and other Hindu texts combining their messages with popular Hollywood movies. He leads workshops on mantra meditation and delivers lectures at the nation’s leading universities and yoga studios. Pandit spoke at a recent TEDx conference and was featured in the NPR piece “Long Days and Short Nights of a Hindu Monk.” He has also appeared in a PBS documentary on the Bhagavad Gita, as well as The New York Times. For more from Pandit, check out his website at nycpandit.com.

View his book “Urban Monk: Exploring Karma, Consciousness, and the Divine HERE

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