5: Perfect it is, like vast emptiness

圓同太虚     Perfect it is, like vast emptiness

無欠無餘     With nothing wanting, nothing superfluous

良由取捨     When you grasp this and reject that

所以不如     You cannot see its suchness


That singleness is known as emptiness, wherein the universe does not exist in the beginning, end or middle, but by which the universe is pervaded at all times. – Adi Shankara

Who can guess how much tranquillity has been reflected to man from the azure sky, over whose unspotted deeps the winds forevermore drive flocks of stormy clouds, and leave no wrinkle or stain? – Ralph Waldo Emerson (Nature)

Huang-po (d. 850):

Mind is no other than Buddha. There is no Buddha outside of Mind, nor is there Mind outside of Buddha. This Mind is pure, and like space it has no distinct forms. As soon as you raise a thought and begin to form an idea of it, you ruin the Reality, because you then attach yourself to form. Since the beginningless past there is no Buddha who has ever had an attachment to form.

It is told again by the Tathagata that this Reality is perfectly empty and unbroken. By Reality is meant Bodhi. That is, this pure Mind, source of all things, is the very same in all sentient beings, in all the Buddha-lands, and also in all other worlds together with their mountains, oceans, etc., forms and formless things. They are all the same, and no marks distinguish this object from that. This pure Mind, source of all things, is always perfect and illuminating and all-pervading. People are ignorant of this and take what they see or hear or think of or know for Mind itself; their insight is then veiled and unable to penetrate into the essence itself, which is clear and illuminating. When you realize no-mind without any interference, the essence itself is revealed to you. It is like the sun coming out: its illumination penetrates the ten quarters and nothing obstructs its passage. (Suzuki, 1935, p. 81)



34. Trust in its Perfection

1. How all-pervading is the great Tao! It can go left and right.

2. The ten thousand things depend upon it for their life, and it refuses them not. The merit it accomplishes, it does not claim. It loves and nourishes the ten thousand things, yet it plays not the lord. Forever free of tendencies, it can be called humble. The ten thousand things return to it, yet it plays not the lord. It can be called great.

3. Therefore

The holy man unto the very end does not strive to be great; thus can he realize his greatness. (Suzuki & Carus, 1913)


D. T. Suzuki (1935). Manual of Zen Buddhism.

D. T. Suzuki and Paul Carus (1913). The Canon of Reason and Virtue (Tao Te Ching).

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