​ORDINARY MIND IS THE WAY

Joshu once asked Nansen, “What is the Way?” Nansen answered, “Ordinary mind is the Way.” “Then should we direct ourselves toward it or not?” asked Joshu. “If you direct yourself toward it, you go away from it,” answered Nansen. Joshu continued, “If we do not try, how can we know that it is the Way?” Nansen replied, “The Way does not belong to knowing or not knowing. Knowing is illusion, not-knowing is blankness. If you really attain to the Way of no-doubt, it is like the great void, so vast and boundless. How, then, can there be right and wrong in the Tao?” At these words, Joshu was suddenly enlightened.

Mumon’s poem

Hundreds of flowers in spring, the moon in autumn,

A cool breeze in summer, and snow in winter;

if there is no vain cloud in your mind

For you it is a good season.


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