Xinxin Ming Entire Translation

Xinxin Ming of the 3rd Ancestor Sengcan
Translated by John Jing Shen


The Great Way is not extremely difficult
It only criticizes picking and choosing
But if you can neither hate nor love
This cave will certainly be unblemished and bright

But deviate the width of a hair
And heaven and earth are held apart
If you want it to appear before you
Do not be subservient or rebellious

To pit obedience and defiance against each other
Indeed causes the heart and mind to grow sick
Not understanding the profound purpose
The practitioner labors to silence thoughts

The Way is complete like vast emptiness
Without excess or lack
When you have a reason to accept or reject
There is no place for Suchness


Do not chase fleeting existence,
Do not remain in enduring emptiness

Carry in your heart the one peaceful seed
And certainly perishing will exhaust itself

Halt stirring emotions to return to stillness
And stillness with further fill with stirring emotions

If you rest in either alone
How will you know the one seed?

Misunderstanding the one seed
You will lose merit in two ways:

Dispelling existence,  you drown without it
Following emptiness, you turn your back on it

The more words and thoughts you consider
The more you will circle and turn from the Way

Cut short words, and cut short considering
And nowhere will you be obstructed

Return home and obtain the purpose
Following illumination you miss the reservoir

In a flash, return to illumination
And surpass the retreating emptiness that is before you

The transformations in this emptiness before you
Are all appearances caused by absurdity


You need not seek the truth
Just stop chasing appearances
Without dwelling in divided appearances
Take care to not seek

In one moment of right and wrong
The upright mind is lost in confusion
Two follows from the existence of one
But don’t guard even the one

In the One Mind there is no arising
The 10,000 things are faultless 
No faults, no things
No birth, no mind

Action complies when the actor disappears 
The actor disappears when the action is poured out
The actor depends on action
Actions depend on the actor

If you want to understand these two pieces
Their nature is one emptiness
In one emptiness, both are alike
Even containing everything in universe


Do not see perfect and vulgar
And you will have no prejudice for or against

The Great Way is wide
Not easy and not difficult

Small views are prone to doubt
Circling, turning quickly, but always too late

To consider it, grasp it, and measure it is to lose it
And certainly enter a depraved path

It’s natural to let go
In essence, nothing goes or stays

Allow your nature to join with the Way
Free and unfettered, afflictions disappear

Worrisome thought is contrary to the real
It muddies, submerges, and ruins
To trouble the mind is no good

What use is there in loving the known
But fearing the strange?


In desiring and taking hold of the One Vehicle
Do not loathe or fear the six dusts
Not loathing or fearing the six dusts
They return, equal in upright awareness

The wise do nothing
The fool binds oneself

Appearances are just appearances
Presumption gives rise to self-centeredness

The mind that seeks is the mind that’s sought
Isn’t this a great mistake?

Confusion gives life to order and disorder
To be aware, see neither good nor bad

Carving one into two
One is filled to the brim with absurdity
Dreams, illusions, empty flowers—
Why toil to grasp and capture them?

Gain and loss, right and wrong
Go back at once and set them free

If the Eye is not sleeping
All dreams end themselves


If the mind doesn’t separate things
The ten thousand things are as-if-one

In the mysterious experience of as-if-one,
Cut off and forget cause, reason, karma, and fate

When the 10,000 things are beheld as equal and altogether
You return to, and are cared for, by your original nature

Let the cause disappear
And there is the true that cannot be compared

Stop stirring emotions, and there will be no-stirring
Set stopping in motion, and there will be no stopping

When both aren’t seen as already complete
Which one is you?

Go to the bottom of the matter, and use up extremes
And no path or principle remains

Engrave the mind with peaceful equality
That which puts all pretending to rest


Doubts are completely used up
Helpful trust continuously harmonizes

There is nothing to keep
Nothing to reflect upon

Bright emptiness naturally shines
And the mind is effortless

There is nothing to consider
For it’s beyond judgments and senses

As for the true Suchness of things
There is no self and no other
To swiftly accord with that
Only speak of nonduality

Nondual, everything’s together
Nothing is lacking, so all is forgiven

The truly wise, in all times and places
Have entered this teaching

This teaching isn’t sudden or gradual
Just one thought for 10,000 years

It neither is nor isn’t
Everywhere, right before your eyes


The extremely small is like the large
When dividing boundaries are forgotten
The extremely large is like the small
Like a surface whose edges cannot be seen

Being is wu, wu is being
If something doesn’t seem this way
Then certainly don’t abide it

One is all, all is one
If you’re able to know all things as such
Your worries are finished, and there’s nothing to carry

Trust in Mind is nondual
Nonduality is trust in Mind

The Way is without language
Without yesterday, today, or tomorrow

2 thoughts on “Xinxin Ming Entire Translation

  1. “eternity is not a long time – eternity is not IN time!” – Joseph Campbell. There is no Time for a Photon, just as there is no Time in the Eternal Now.


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