25-26: Gain and loss, right and wrong

迷生寂亂     Ignorance begets tranquility and turmoil

悟無好惡     With enlightenment there is no good and evil

一切二邊     Dividing one thing into two sides

妄自斟酌     Is an absurdity born of discrimination

 

夢幻虚華     Dreams, illusions, flowers in the air

何勞把捉     Why try to grasp them?

得失是非     Gain and loss, right and wrong

一時放卻     Banish them once and for all!

 

Bodhidharma:

30. Question: “Is the Great Way near or far?”  Answer: “It is like a mirage in the heat, neither near nor far. An image of a face in a mirror is also neither near nor far. Flowers, needles, etc., that henbane produces in the air are also neither near nor far. If you say that they are near, how is it that, when one seeks for them in the ten directions, one cannot grasp them? If you say they are far, they pass clearly and distinctly before the eyes. The treatise says: ‘Near and yet you cannot see them: this is the nature of the ten thousand things.'” (Jorgensen, 1979)

D. T. Suzuki: (1949)

By emancipation the Buddha meant to be free from all forms of attachment, both sensual and intellectual. So says he in the Majjhima Nikaya:

Let not thy mind be disturbed by external objects
Nor let it go astray among thine own ideas
Be free from attachments and fears
This is the way to overcome the sufferings of birth and death

As long as there is the slightest trace of attachment anywhere, outwardly or inwardly, there remains the substratum of selfhood, and this is sure to create a new force of karma and involve us in the eternal cycle of birth-and-death. This attachment is a form of obsession or illusion or imagination. Nine of such self-conceited illusions are mentioned in the Nikayas, all of which come out of the wrong speculations of selfhood and naturally lead to attachment in one way or another. They are the ideas that ‘I am’, ‘I am thus’, ‘I shall be’, ‘I shall not be’, ‘I shall have form’, ‘I shall be without form’, ‘I shall have thought’, ‘I shall be without thought’, ‘I shall neither have thought nor be without thought’. We have to get rid of all these arrogant, self-asserting conceptions in order to reach the final goal of Buddhist life. For when they are eliminated, we cease to worry, to harbour hatred, to be belabouring, and to be seized with fears—which is tranquillization, and Nirvana, and the seeing into the reality and truth of things. When prajna is awakened in us, morality is abandoned, meditation left behind, and there remains only an enlightened state of consciousness in which spirit moveth as it listeth. (pp. 148-149)

Meister Eckhart:

Perfect detachment is not concerned about being above or below any creature; it does not wish to be below or above, it would stand on its own, loving none and hating none, and seeks neither equality nor inequality with any creature, not this nor that: it wants merely to be. But to be either this or that it does not wish at all; for whoever would be this or that wants to be something, but detachment wants to be nothing. It is therefore no burden [does not impose itself] on anything. (Walshe, “On Detachment,” p. 119)

 

Jorgensen, John A. The Earliest Text of Ch’an Buddhism: The Long Scroll. The Australian National University, 1979 (p. 298).

Suzuki, Daisetz Teitaro. Essays in Zen Buddhism (First Series). New York, Grove Press, 1949.

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

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