Chanting · How We See the World · Seng Can - 3rd Patriarch of Chan

Xin Xin Ming – a way to see the world

In discussions on the question of reality, and how to see it “correctly”, the following statements were made.


The history of western philosophy shows that nothing of enlightening value can be arrived at by rational dialectic and discussion. While this type of deductive reasoning method is worthwhile from a scientific point of view, it is not useful in finding the “hearts home”.

The outcome of dialectic is always like a game of chess…… someone wins, and someone loses….and even the winner loses, as it is not walking the path, it is just sitting talking about walking the path.

In Buddhism, or at least in Zen Buddhism, discussions are meant to illuminate the persons mind….. direct transmission….. Opinions cloud the mind, and the process of Zen is to clarify the mind.

That is why the base of Zen Buddhism is zazen. Zazen can clarify the mind by gradually or suddenly, or as is more common, by gradually AND suddenly, freeing the practitioners mind from the bounds of the thinking mind.

I believe i have found nothing more direct and to the point than the Xin Xin Ming “Affirming Faith in Mind” ( 信心銘) by Seng Can, or by one of his followers. Seng Can was the 3rd Patriarch of Chinese Chan (Zen), and the 30th Patriarch after Siddhārtha Gautama Buddha.He is considered to be the Dharma successor of the second Chinese Patriarch, Dazu Huike. Sengcan is best known as the putative author of the famous Chán poem, Xin Xin Ming.

The Xin Xin Ming, or “affirming faith in mind” is the best guideline to practice that i have ever found in my life…… it was as much daoist as zen. I am including a copy here with a humble interpretation of what i have come to understand from this text.

Below is the text with my humble interpretations

Below is the link with this chanted as it is in the Rochester and Toronto Zen Centers
https://tzcchants.glitch.me/#Chants%20&%20Sutras/AFFIRMING%20FAITH%20IN%20MIND

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