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English version by Stephen Mitchell


The mind is like a reflection in a mirror:
Though it is insubstantial, it is not nonexistent.
What is, we have no control over;
And what isn't, is ephemeral
Aren't the esteemed sages
Just regular people who've resolved the matter?

There are changes upon changes.
Once the five components* are clearly seen,
The diverse things in the world are joined into one.
How can there be two formless dharma bodies?
Once compulsive desires are eliminated and insight comes,
There are no thoughts about where the promised land may lie.

The will to survive must be killed off.
Once it is killed off, there will be peace of mind.
When the mind integrates this,
An iron ship has been made to float.


-- from The Sayings of Layman P'ang: A Zen Classic, Translated by James Green
Poetry Chaikhana | P'ang Yun (Layman P'ang) - The mind is like a reflection in a mirror

* form, perception, conception, volition, and consciousness

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