Hsin Shin Ming: “6. When the deep meaning is not understood, you try in vain to keep your mind silent.”
The deep meaning here implies that everything is empty. ‘You try in vain to keep your mind silent’ means that you can never succeed in keeping your mind silent however hard you may try. So, this scripture says, “When you don’t understand that everything is empty, you can never keep your mind silent.”
In order to understand the deep meaning, you should be able to see everything as it is. So, we can interpret the scripture as ‘If you are to keep your mind silent, you should see everything as it is prior to trying in vain to keep your mind silent’. In other words, this means that you should try to see your mind as it is before struggling to keep it silent. When you can’t see things as they are, you can’t see your mind as it is. This means that you don’t know what your mind is. Trying to keep your mind silent without knowing what it is like trying in vain to grasp the reflection of the moon in a pond.
When you can see things as they are, you come to realise that everything is empty. When everything is empty, not only your mind but what disturbs your mind is also empty. When everything is empty, everything is oneness as emptiness. When everything is oneness as emptiness, your mind is not your mind, and what disturbs your mind is not the things that disturb your mind any more. They are oneness as emptiness. Likewise, silence and noisiness are neither different nor separate from each other but one as emptiness. Then, whatever you do, wherever you are, your mind is silent all the time.
Student: “How can I keep my mind silent?”
Master: “What is your mind?”
Student: “I am not sure what it is.”
Master: “How can you hope to keep your mind silent without knowing what it is? Your problem is not that your mind is noisy but simply that you don’t know what it is.”
All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway http://ow.ly/i/AFP1h