The nature of mind is non-arising,
what need is there of knowledge and views?
Originally there is not a single dharma,
why dwell over beliefs and methods?
Coming and going without beginning,
sought for, it is never seen.
No need to do anything --
It is bright, still, self-apparent.
The past is like empty space,
know anything and the basic principle is lost.
Casting a clear light on the world,
Illuminating yet obscured.
If recognition is obscured,
all dharmas are misunderstood.
Coming and going, endlessly modifying --
is there even need for inquiry?
Arising without the mark of arising,
arising and illumination are the same.
Want to purify the mind?
What mind will you use for that effort?
Throughout time and space
nothing is illuminated.
This is most profound.
Knowing dharmas is not knowing;
Not knowing is knowing the essential.
Using the mind to maintain quietude,
you still fail to quit the sickness.
Birth and death forgotten --
this is Original Nature.
The highest principle cannot be explained;
It is neither free nor bound.
Lively and attuned to everything,
It is always right before you.
There is nothing in front of you;
nothing, yet everything is as usual.
Do not belabor wisdom to examine it;
substance itself is empty and obscure.
Thoughts arise and pass away,
one no different from the rest.
If the succeeding thought does not arise,
the preceding thought cuts itself off.
In past, present and future there is nothing;
no mind, no Buddha.
Sentient beings are without mind --
out of no-mind, they manifest.
Distinguishing between sacred and mundane,
their anxiety flourishes.
Seeking the false,
one gives up the true.
Discarding both is the cure,
transparent, bright, pure.
No need for hard work or skill;
be like a child.
the net of views abounds.
Stillness without seeing,
not moving in a dark room.
Wakeful without wandering,
mind is tranquil yet bright.
All phenomena are real and eternal,
Various, yet of a single form.
Going, coming, sitting, standing --
don't attach to anything,
don’t linger anywhere.
Given there’s no direction,
can there be arrival or departure?
There is neither expansion nor contraction,
neither sudden nor gradual.
Brightness and tranquility are just as they are;
they cannot be explained in words.
Mind is without alienation --
no need to manipulate desire.
Nature being empty,
desire will depart by itself.
Allow the mind to float and sink.
Neither clear nor clouded,
neither shallow nor deep –
then it was not old,
now it is not new.
Now it is non-abiding!
Now it is Original Mind!
Originally it did not exist.
"Origin" is now.
Truth has always existed,
no need to preserve it.
The struggle is not real,
no need to end it.
Natural wisdom is self-illuminating;
All dharmas return to thusness.
There is no returning, no receiving!
Stop contemplating, forget keeping.
The four virtues are unborn;
the three bodies have always existed.
In awareness there are no wandering thoughts,
the myriad conditions harmonize.
Mind and nature are originally alike;
together, yet not mutually dependent.
Without arising, dancing with forms,
Abiding hidden everywhere.
Light out of darkness,
illuminating the darkness itself.
As to gain and loss,
why call either good or bad?
The totality of universal functioning
originally was uncreated.
Realize that mind is not mind.
There is no sickness, no medicine.
When confused, you set things aside.
Enlightened, it makes no difference.
Originally there is nothing to obtain --
now what use is there in renouncing?
When someone claims to see demons,
we may talk of emptiness, yet
the phenomena are there.
Don't destroy the myths of common people;
only teach the cessation of thoughts.
When thoughts are gone, mind is abolished.
When mind is gone, action is terminated.
No need to confirm emptiness --
naturally, there is clear comprehension.
Completely seeing through birth and death,
the profound mind enters the Principle.
Opening your eyes and seeing forms,
mind is born in accord with the scene.
Within mind there is no scene;
within the scene there is no mind.
Use mind to abolish the scene
and both will be disturbed.
With mind still and scene as it is,
not avoiding, not grasping,
mind and scene vanish together.
When neither arise,
there is rest.
The reflection of Truth shines
in the immaculate pool of mind.
The nature of wisdom is like a fool --
it does not conceive of boundaries.
Praise and blame don’t change it,
It doesn't choose its abode.
All relations suddenly cease;
everything is forgotten.
Eternal day is like night,
eternal night, like day.
Outwardly like a complete fool,
inwardly mind is empty and real.
Those not moved by what changes
There is neither seer nor seeing;
without seeing there is ceaseless manifestation.
Completely penetrating everything,
It has always pervaded everywhere.
Thinking confuses, sinking and
bewildering the spirit, but
use mind to stop activity
and it becomes even more erratic.
The ten thousand dharmas are everywhere,
yet there is only one door.
Neither entering nor leaving,
neither quiet nor noisy.
The wisdom of the holy ones
cannot explain it.
Actually, there is not a single thing;
only mystery exists.
The original face is limitless;
It cannot be probed by mind.
True enlightenment is no enlightenment,
Real emptiness is not empty.
All Buddhas of the past, present and future --
all ride on this basic Principle.
The tip of a hair of this basic principle
contains worlds the intellect cannot imagine!
Do not concern yourself with anything;
fix the mind nowhere.
Releasing any fixation,
limitless brightness shows itself.
Tranquil and non-arising,
set free in boundless time and space.
Wherever it moves, there is no obstruction;
going and staying are equal.
The sun of wisdom is tranquil,
the light of Recognition bright.
Illuminating the galaxies of no forms,
shining full on our town tonight!
After all relationships are forgotten,
the argument with oneself is forgotten,
the war is over -- nobody survived.
Not rising from the mountain seat,
sleeping peacefully in a vacant room.
Taking pleasure in Tao is relaxing,
flowing free and easy as you please!
No action and nothing to attain,
relying on nothing, manifesting naturally.
Everyone is on their way home, but if mind
is not born, what will discriminate
here from there?
Knowing arising is non-arising,
awareness itself awakens to itself.
If you understand,
no words are necessary.
If not, no words will suffice.
~Niu Tou Fa Jong (594-657)
transliteration by b