The Knoxville Community of Mindfulness

Verses on Trust in Mind 

Trust in Mind, an early Chinese poem, is one of the most beloved texts of the Zen tradition. It continues to inspire countless admirers with its intimations, intuitively perceived, of the nature of a life lived in freedom.
--Mu Soeng, Trust in Mind: The Rebellion of Chinese Zen
The Great Way is not difficult 

for those who do not pick and choose. 
When preferences are cast aside 
The Way stands clear and undisguised.  
But even slight distinctions made  
set earth and heaven far apart. 

If you would clearly see the truth,  
discard opinions pro and con.  
To flounder in dislike and like  
is nothing but the mind’s disease.  
And not to see the Way’s deep truth  
disturbs the mind’s essential peace.  

The Way is perfect like vast space,  
where there’s no lack and no excess.  
Our choice to choose and to reject  
prevents our seeing this simple truth.  
Both striving for the outer world  
as well as for the inner void  
condemn us to entangled lives.  

Just calmly see that all is One  
and by themselves false views will go.  
Attempts to stop activity  
will fill you with activity.  
If there's a trace of right and wrong  
true mind is lost, confused, distraught.  

From One-mind comes duality  
but cling not even to this One. 
When this One-mind rests undisturbed  
then nothing in the world offends

And when no thing can give offense,  

then all obstructions cease to be.  


If all thought-objects disappear  

the thinking subject drops away.  

For things are things because of mind,  

as mind is mind because of things.  

These two are merely relative 

and both at source are emptiness.  

In emptiness these are not two  

yet in each are contained all forms. 

Once coarse and fine are seen no more,  

then how can there be taking sides?  


The Great Way is without limit,  

beyond the easy and the hard.  

But those who hold to narrow views  

are fearful and irresolute;  

their frantic haste just slows them down.  


If you're attached to anything,  

you surely will go far astray.  Both gain and loss, and right and wrong— 

once and for all get rid of them.  

When you no longer are asleep,  

all dreams will vanish by themselves.  


If mind does not discriminate, 

all things are as they are, as One.  

To go to this mysterious Source  

frees us from all entanglements. 

When all is seen with “equal mind,”  

to our self-nature we return.  

This single mind goes right beyond  

all reasons and comparison.  


Seek movement and there's no-movement,  

seek rest and no-rest comes instead.  

When rest and no-rest cease to be  

then even oneness disappears.

This ultimate finality’s  

beyond all laws, can’t be described.  


With single mind one with the Way, 

all ego-centered strivings cease; 

doubts and confusions disappear, 

and so true faith pervades our life. 

There is no thing that clings to us, 

and nothing that is left behind.  


Remaining in duality,  

you'll never know of unity. 

And not to know this unity  

lets conflict lead you far astray. 

When you assert that things are real, 

you miss their true reality.  

But to assert that things are void  

also misses reality.  


The more you talk and think on this  

the further from the truth you'll be.  

Cut off all useless thoughts and words  

and there's nowhere you cannot go.  

Returning to the root itself, 

you'll find the meaning of all things. 

If you pursue appearances, 

you overlook the primal source.  


Awakening is to go beyond  

both emptiness as well as form.  

All changes in this empty world  

seem real because of ignorance.  

Do not go searching for the truth, 

just let those fond opinions go.  

Abide not in duality, 

refrain from all pursuit of it.  

Just let go now of thinking mind 

and all things are just as they are.  


In essence nothing goes or stays.

See into the true self of things,  

and you're in step with the Great Way, 

thus walking freely, undisturbed.  

But live in bondage to your thoughts, 

and you will be confused, unclear.  

This heavy burden weighs you down— 

so why keep judging good and bad?  


If you would walk the highest Way, 

do not reject the sense domain. 

For as it is, whole and complete, 

this sense world is enlightenment.  

The wise do not strive after goals, 

but fools themselves in bondage put. 

The One Way knows no differences, 

the foolish cling to this and that. 


To see great mind with thinking mind 

is certainly a grave mistake. 

From small mind come rest and unrest, 

but mind awakened transcends both.  

Delusion spawns dualities— 

these dreams are merely flowers of air— 

why work so hard at grasping them?  

All's self revealing void and clear,  

without exerting power of mind. 


Thought cannot reach this state of truth, 

here feelings are of no avail.  

In this true world of Emptiness 

both self and other are no more.  

To enter this true empty world, 

immediately affirm “not-two.” 

In this “not-two” all is the same, 

with nothing separate or outside.  


The wise in all times and places 

awaken to this primal truth. 

The Way’s beyond all space, all time. 

One instant is ten thousand years.

Not only here, not only there,

truth’s right before your very eyes. 

Distinctions such as large and small 

have relevance for you no more. 


The largest is the smallest too—

here limitations have no place. 

What is is not, what is not is—

if this is not yet clear to you,

you're still far from the inner truth. 


One thing is all, all things are one—

know this and all’s whole and complete. 

When faith and Mind are not separate,

and not separate are Mind and faith,

this is beyond all words, all thought. 


For here there is no yesterday,

no tomorrow,

no today.




Download Verses on Trust in Mind