Thursday, December 17, 2009

In the Hsin-Hsin Ming (Verses on the Faith-Mind), Seng-ts'an, the Third Chinese Patriarch, wrote, "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."

"Having no preferences" is often described as not picking and choosing. While I certainly have some pretty specific preferences, I try and observe how I pick and choose and the effects that it has on my life. Acceptance of things that are not to my liking is part of my practice, and I can assure you that it has paid me dividends by increasing my patience and my tolerance (this from a characteristically impatient and intolerant person!). This practice of observing our preferences is very different from the practice of shikantaza, although it is still part of The Great Way.


Nathan said...

I love the Hsin Hsin Ming! We spent our fall practice period studying it, and I continue to see how it is teaching me.

Shokai said...