Only Mind

Through time and space, there’s only mind.

All things, from the incomprehensibly small particle, to the incomprehensibly vast universe; from the ungraspable wisp of a millisecond, to the unfathomable span of billions of years; from the people and things we love, to the ones we despise; from the mountains and rivers, to each thought and feeling; from coming and going to utter stillness; both the known and the unknown; strangers, enemies, friends, family, lovers, and ourselves are all mind.

All minds have the same nature, differences come from patterns of views, memories, and preferences which stem from what we choose to focus on in any given moment. When attention isn’t snagged by anything, when there aren’t any patterns, all minds are the same.

Even the mind is mind only.

If the mind is troubled, then we live in a troubled world. If it’s free from troubles, then the world is free from troubles. Gain and loss are both mind; no gain and no loss are also mind. Birth and death, health and sickness, youth and old age, pleasant and unpleasant, having and not having, being and not being are all equally mind.

Throughout the day, whether sitting, standing, walking, talking, listening, eating, drinking, or making love—just contemplate this truth, nothing else is needed. Once you’ve pierced it, share it with others.

It’s a simple truth that, over time, has a deep and lasting impact. From the beginning, it’s been the only thing Buddhism has ever taught. For some, it’s the Four Noble Truths. For others, it’s dependent arising, emptiness, Buddha-nature, or discrimination-only. All just different ways to express the teaching of One Mind.

Self and other are equally mind, as are no self and no other. Relative and absolute, subjective and objective, is and isn’t—only mind.

After completely grokking this, we can ask, “What is Mind?” It’s just the one who asked the question.

When all is seen as mind only, there’s nothing to fear or grasp at. With a single thought, all can seem divided. In the next instant, all is one. Both mind. Understanding this is true discipline, true autonomy and adaptability.

None of our joys and sorrows come from outside of ourselves, they don’t depend on objects—they depend on views. Mind-only is a skillful view that puts everything into perspective and prevents us from getting lost.

So, just go about your business with mind-only. There’s nothing else.

5 thoughts on “Only Mind

      1. We usually just call all of it Chan. I think that Chittamatra (Weishi), Madhyamaka (Sanlun), Tathagatagarbha (Niepanshi), Pure Land (Jingtu), and Tantra (Mizong) all made their way to China separately, but most of their teachings were eventually adopted by Chan as well. But, the way they’re expressed changes a lot between all the Five Houses of Chan (Linji, Caodong, Fayan, Yunmen, & Guiyang). I practice in a kind of hybrid Chan lineage, so we use all of it from as many angles as possible without differentiating lol.


      2. Oh that’s interesting, Chittamatra only mind and Madhyamaka no mind are two of four or five philosophies that’s are part of the Tibetan system. Some people feel they are competing schools of thought I see them a bit differently more as steps of letting go of the last remaining concepts. Or perhaps a path of understanding better describes it. I am sure you know what I mean. Thanks for sharing this with me especially the names.


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