No Distinctions


Being Passive in the Face of Activity,
Only induces Restless-Action.

Hiding in either extreme,
The One Mind will evade you.

Those who do not discern ITs Singular Nature,
End up being victimized by both extremes.

Trying to escape this dark existence,
Through emptiness will only fill you with more of the same.

The Passive/Active distinction can be a difficult problem to solve. Zen Master’s of old used to employ a Kung-an, more readily known as a koan, to break the vicious deadlock of this dualistic tendency of the mind. One of the most famous is, “The myriad dharmas return to one. To what does the One return?” Another breakthrough method was the adepts becoming familiarized with the hua-t’ou—or the “prior-keyword” that alone could crack-open the Kung-an. As The late Ch’an Master Hsu Yun said:

All hua t’ous have only one meaning which is very ordinary and has nothing peculiar about it. If you look into him ‘ Who is reciting a sutra?\ ‘ Who is holding a mantra?’, ‘ Who is worshipping Buddha?\ ‘Who is taking a meal?’ . . . or ‘Who is sleeping?”, the reply to ‘WHO?’ will invariably be the same: ‘It is Mind.’ Word arises from Mind and Mind is the head of {i.e. ante-) Word. Thought arises from Mind and Mind is the head of Thought. Myriad things come from Mind and Mind is the head of myriad things. In reality, a hua t’ou is the head of a thought. The head of a thought is nothing but Mind. To make it plain, before a thought arises, it is hua t’ou.
From the above, we know that to look into a hua t’ou is to look into the Mind. The fundamental face before one’s birth is Mind. To look into one’s fundamental face before one’s birth is to look into one’s mind. Self-nature is Mind and to ‘turn inwards the hearing to hear the self-nature’ is to ‘turn inwards one’s contemplation to contemplate the self-mind’. [The Secrets of Chinese Meditation, pg 48, 1972 edition]

Mind’s own singularity is the final breakthrough from the dungeon of dualism. Seng-ts’an intuitively knew that the Living Tao is the Mind-Absolute—the primordial-orb that absorbs and transmutes all mind-obstructions grinding it all down to its original essence. A Ch’an adept knows that any outside postulations of just what constitutes the Quiescent Unborn Mind will surely defeat their purpose. In this Total-Mode of Recollecting Mind’s Purity, one knows that even the slightest hint of dualistic formulizations will create the Obstructing Iron-Made-Mountain that once hemmed-in even the great Mañjushrī himself. Thus even trying to become self-empty will only fill you with more of your false-self existence. Yes, discerning the Singular Nature of the Unborn is the key to dissolving the abscess of all dualistic proclivities.

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