Monday, September 6, 2010

The Great Way



“The Great Way is not difficult for those who have no preferences. When loves and hate are both absent everything becomes clear and undisguised.

Make the smallest distinction however and heaven and earth are set infinitely apart. 

If you wish to see the truth then hold no opinions for or against anything. To set up what you like against what you dislike is the disease of the mind.”

—Seng-tsan,  Verses on the Faith Mind  
translated by Richard B. Clark

8 comments:

steven said...

hello dan, i was just out for the "last ride" before school begins again tomorrow. of course there isn't any such thing as "the last ride" because i ride to and from school and then on weekends. you crossed my mind as i returned head first into the rain - i thought about how grateful i am that you share each step of your understanding. not as something passing by - like a postcard from a waystation - but as an understanding you have worked towards. so thankyou very much. steven

Bonnie said...

I was about to type 'I love that quote' when I realized I had already missed the point! It take work to realize a state of no preference.

Now tell me, do you have a preference for no preference? :-)

Katherine said...

It occurs to me that to have no preferences might mean that you are living totally in the present, just appreciating each and every second. Would that be right Dan?

Dan Gurney said...

steven, good luck in the new school year. I've just finished the 14th day of instruction. We're far enough along for me to know that I'll have a fun year with a class of students ready to learn. How lucky we are to be teachers!

Dan Gurney said...

Bonnie-- almost caught ya! And with your question, you're trying to catch me!

The funny thing, I was about to introduce this quote with some sort of liking statement and, like you, caught myself in the irony of any such effort. But, by posting it here, you can probably tell I do like it.

Do I have a preference for no preference? I have no preference for preferences sometimes.

Dan Gurney said...

Katherine, hello!!

In moments of oceanic awareness, of sublime equanimity, both preference and resistance drop away. The absence of both feels agreeable---in a light way. I've had moments like that, but not long periods of time feeling so clear.

Sabio Lantz said...

We must prefer to avoid harm, to avoid hate and much more. For these things and more, it is important to hold an opinion, no?

Dan Gurney said...

Sabio, yes, of course! The ordinary mind works very well in everyday realms. To navigate this world successfully, it is skillful to set heaven and earth apart when approprite.

Moments of transcendent clarity tend to occur in special protected circumstances, as in meditation or on extended retreat.