Seng Ts’an: Tenth of an Inch

The perfect way knows no difficulties
Except that it refuses to make preferences;
Only when freed from hate and love
It reveals itself fully and without disguise;
A tenth of an inch’s difference,
And heaven and earth are set apart.
If you wish to see it before your own eyes
Have no fixed thoughts either for or against it.

To set up what you like against what you dislike –
That is the disease of the mind:
When the deep meaning of the Way is not understood,
Peace of mind is disturbed to no purpose.

The Way is perfect like unto vast space,
With nothing wanting, nothing superfluous.
It is indeed due to making choice
That its Suchness is lost sight of.

from ‘On Believing in Mind’ by Seng Ts’an
Translated by Edward Conze

One Reply to “Seng Ts’an: Tenth of an Inch”

  1. Takbir Rodolfo Cortes

    Early this morning, my wife Bahima and me were talking about a women’s group discussion, where the issue was that some are in favor of animals and others no, because they think that humans have more rights than animals. A little puppy was found and help was asked for him, immediately hundreds of items and money was recollected for him.
    On the same chat another lady asked for help for a little baby found on the street and no one gave him anything. So she said I can beloved this, you are able to collect so many items for a dog and yet one dares give anything for a baby, a baby is more important than a dog don’t you think? She asked, well she did her many things in a few seconds a reprimend from all the lady’s that had helped the puppy and were offended by this lady having said that the baby was more important that the puppy.
    The I read this post in the Inner call. Thank you for this beautiful thought

    Only when freed from hate and love does the perfect way reveal itself fully and without disguise


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