August 28, 2013

How Not to Mind

A Free Interpretation of "Xinxin Ming"Jeannie Galeazzi

The following is inspired by the classic Chan poem "Xinxin Ming" (lit., “Trust-Mind Inscription”) by Jianzhi Sengcan (d. 606).

In the absence of favor prizing this over that, the Way shines clear right here, right now,
Exacting no effort to seek or shun, judge fair or foul, deem so or not-so: inventions diverting
The mind. No division, no reaction, no Delusion. The universe unfurls on its own.
Awake to the limits of thoughts and words, neither striving nor siding nor grasping nor stuck,
Skillful Composure will note the mind’s noise as part of What-Is and move on, still open, serene.
Awareness—alert with equivalence to Moment-Body-Mind—exposes as false the convention of
Naming “such” the eternally-Shifting or “separate” the eternally-Linked: peers in fluid Oneness.
At-rest or in-motion is no Oneness. Rest-is-Motion-and-Motion-is-Rest hints at Oneness, at the
Vigor of stillness—the pulse in poised muscle, the stresses in stone—at Opposites existing as One:
Impartial Awareness discredits all truths but the sole Truth of All-intermingling-in-None.
Unpracticing mind, dreamy in What-Should-Be, clings to relevance, perfection, control,
To vain plans to be foiled and hopes to be dashed—or not—as if “It” were anything personal,
To the yearn-and-spurn fantasies of image and goal, to expectations and knowns,
To faith in opinion and reason and value and self: futile fretful comforts of Delusion.
Blossoms in the clouds; why clutch at them? Why suffer and make suffer? Why block the Way?
Practicing mind, lucid in What-Is, unfolds with each moment and acts or abstains based on
Insight without credence in sway, attuned to the natural flow of the Many—fleetingly as-is,
Forever in-flux—merging within the vast One, where win and lose, help and harm, Thou and I
All feed and form and flood one another, equals in Emptiness of origin and end,
No plus unmixed with minus, no right untinged by wrong, just: What-Is, What’s-Next.
Perceiving What-Is in all textures and tones without pausing to accept or reject or assess,
The practicing mind learns to quell its own din and find readiness in Peace undaunted by Change,
Unruffled by notions of done-undone, flawed-unflawed, by figments of dawn or dusk,
Heedful of things not as “things” but as Process, flash-by-flash flashing fresh yet already flown:
No scraps to chafe or fester, no urge to dwell on “so,” no trust in guess or dread: thus no matter.
To practice the Way is as simple as breathing—Now in, Now out—as plain as intuiting: Not-Two.
Practice may falter in upset or weakness, in fancies of pique or pride; Not-Two revives as a cue
To refocus, to look beyond fables of penchant or grudge, to see beyond one-side-of-One.
Supple and neutral, Not-Two is Oneness—infinite and always at hand—is the Way rippling out
Beyond reckon or ken: no then, no when, no now, just—Now. Practice is how not to mind.


Jeannie Galeazzi's work has twice been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and has appeared in such publications as Fence, The Literary Review, Permafrost, and Southern Humanities Review.

Audrey Penven/Flickr

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sdn_zen's picture

Taking a step backward we still arrive in the present moment.

mahakala's picture

in between straight lines
two ends meeting together