Monday, December 26, 2011
Last night, I pulled out Zen Master Seng Ts'an's dharma poem "Trust in Mind" (Xinxinming) again. Here's a line that caught me:
"If you wish to see the truth,
then hold no opinions for or against anything."
"Trust in Mind" (Xinxinming), Zen Master Seng Ts'an
Take a look at those first words - "If you wish to see the truth." How often do you truly wish to see the truth? And how often do you do anything in your power to turn away from it?
This line seems to point at the choice that's required of each of us in every moment to want to see the truth. We have to aim ourselves in the right direction - or, more accurately, allow ourselves to be aimed in the right direction by life itself. If we're too busy being obstructionists, propping up sham arguments about ourselves and others, there's no room for the truth to seep in.
In the second part of the line, the word "hold" stands out. Recently, I was in a conversation about politics, and felt myself holding tightly to my particular opinion. I noticed how that tightness manifested in my shoulders and lower back, and how the guy I was talking with seemed to be mirroring me - tightening around his own opinion. So, I decided to pull back, and let go of the point I was trying to make. We continued to talk, and I fairly quickly experienced an uncoiling of that tightness as breath calmed, and my need to be right diminished.
How to treat all opinions like this? Let them be birds, floating across the mind's landscape: accessible, able to be conveyed, but also free to pass on through at any time.