Monday, December 26, 2011

A Thought on Trust in Mind

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.


Was Once said...

Holding to any opinion for me just is an appetizer for more suffering...and points to not liking things as they are. When will I learn? I probably learn when I finally stop posting or talking! :^)

Robyn said...

If one is curious about this very moment, it will be impossible to hold opinions about it. Once the judgement sets in, the curiosity vanishes and we are no longer actually looking what is right before our eyes. To a greater or lesser extent, we blind ourselves.

Of course, to stay in that state of open curiosity is not so easy. But to be aware that it is the place where we can begin to understand what the right action is, and to be aware that we are not there right now, is a start.

That's just, like, my opinion, man.

Nathan said...

Curiosity killed the cat, though, right? Just kidding. I think being curious is an excellent path.