3: To set what you like against what you dislike

違順相爭     To set what you like against what you dislike

是爲心病     This is the disease of the mind



Another day found me walking alone near the Howrah railway station. I stood for a moment by a temple, silently criticizing a small group of men with drum and cymbals who were violently reciting a chant.

“How undevotionally they use the Lord’s divine name in mechanical repetition,” I reflected. My gaze was astonished by the rapid approach of Master Mahasaya. “Sir, how come you here?”

The saint, ignoring my question, answered my thought. “Isn’t it true, little sir, that the Beloved’s name sounds sweet from all lips, ignorant or wise?”

Without a breath of censure or criticism, he surveyed the world with eyes long familiar with the Primal Purity. His body, mind, speech, and actions were effortlessly harmonized with his soul’s simplicity.* (Autobiography, Cp. 9)

Meister Eckhart:

You should know that true detachment is nothing else but a mind that stands unmoved by all accidents of joy or sorrow, honour, shame or misfortune, as a mountain of lead stands unmoved by a breath of wind. This immovable detachment brings a man into the greatest likeness to God. For the reason why God is God is because of His immovable detachment, and from this detachment He has His purity, His simplicity,* and His immutability. Therefore, if a man is to be like God, as far as a creature can have likeness with God, this must come from detachment. This draws a man into purity, and from purity into simplicity, and from simplicity into immutability, and these things make a likeness between God and that man. And this likeness must occur through grace, for grace draws a man away from all temporal things and purges him of all that is transient. You must know, too, that to be empty of all creatures is to be full of God, and to be full of all creatures is to be empty of God. (On Detachment)

*Simplicity: singleness or soleness, ‘one-ness’

Bodhidharma’s Method For Quieting the Mind:

17. If your mind values one thing, it will surely despise another. If your mind affirms anything, it must negate something. If your mind takes one thing to be good, then other things are bad. If your mind has more affection for one person, it despises others. The mind does not abide in forms, nor does it abide in formlessness. It does not abide in abiding, nor does it abide in non-abiding. If your mind abides anywhere, it cannot avoid being bound. If your mind functions anywhere, that is bondage. If your mind values things (dharmas), things will bind you. If your mind values one thing, other things are inferior. When you try to grasp the meaning of the sutras and treatises you should not value understanding. If there are parts that you understand, then your mind is attached to something. If the mind is attached to anything, that is bondage. The sutra says: “It is not through inferior, average or superior things that one attains Nirvana.” Even though the mind has entered delusion, do not push delusion away. Instead, when something arises from the mind, rely on the Teaching to gaze at the place from which it arises. If the mind discriminates, rely on the Teaching to gaze at the place of the discrimination. Whether greed, anger or ignorance arise, rely on the Teaching to gaze at the place from which they arise. To see that there is no place from which these can arise is to cultivate the Way. If there is anything arising from the mind, then investigate it, and relying on the Teaching, clean house! (Bodhidharma’s Method For Quieting the Mind)


M. O’C. Walshe (1987). Meister Eckhart: Sermons & Treatises Volume III. UK: Element Books Limited.

Yogananda, Paramhansa (1946). Autobiography of a Yogi. New York: The Philosophical Library.

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