Believing in Mind | Foundation for the Spiritual Practice of Creativity (FSPC)

Believing in Mind

This is a unique translation (by Dr. Stephen Ruppenthal) of what is sometimes called “The Mind of Absolute Trust” by Seng Ts’an, the Third Patriarch of Ch’an Buddhism, which passed into Japan as Zen. (Credit: Artist Meganne Forbes)


Believing in Mind

The great Way has no impediments;

It does not pick and choose.

When you abandon attachment and aversion

You see it plainly.

Make a thousandth of an inch distinction,

Heaven and earth swing apart.

If you want it to appear before your eyes,

Cherish neither for nor against.


To compare what you like with what you dislike,

That is the disease of the mind.

You pass over the hidden meaning;

Peace of mind is needlessly troubled.


It is round and perfect like vast space,

Lacks nothing, never overflows.

Only because we take and reject

Do we lose the means to know its Suchness.


Don’t get tangled in outward desire

Or get caught within yourself.

Once you plant deep the longing for peace

Confusion leaves of itself.


Return to the root and find meaning.

Follow sense objects, you lose the goal.

Just one instant of inner enlightenment

Will take you far beyond the emptiness of the world.


Selfish attachment forgets all limits;

It always leads down evil roads.

When you let go of it, things happen of themselves;

The substance neither goes nor abides.


If the eye does not sleep

All dreams will naturally stop.

If the mind does not differentiate

All things are of one Suchness.


When you fathom the realm of Suchness

You instantly forget all selfish desire.

Having seen ten thousand things as one

You return to your natural state.


Without meditation

Consciousness and feeling are hard to grasp.

In the realm of Suchness

There is neither self nor other.


In the one, there is the all.

In the all, there is the one.

If you know this, you will never worry about being incomplete.


If belief and mind are made the same

And there is no division between belief and mind

The road of words comes to an end,

Beyond present and future.