abandoning things is superior

the ion tail of comet swan

Yantou said, “Abandoning things is superior, pursuing things is inferior.” If your own state is empty and tranquil, perfectly illuminated and silently shining, then you will be able to confront whatever circumstances impinge on you with the indestructible sword of wisdom and cut everything off — everything from the myriad entangling objects to the verbal teachings of the past and present. Then your awesome, chilling spirit cuts off everything, and everything retreats of itself without having to be pushed away. Isn’t this what it means to be well endowed and have plenty to spare?

If the basis you establish is not clear, if you are the least big bogged down in hesitation and doubt, then you will be dragged off by entangling conditions, and obviously you will not be able to separate yourself from them. How can you avoid being turned around by other things? When you are following other things, you will never have any freedom.

The Ultimate Path is simple and easy — it is just a matter of whether you abandon things or pursue them. Those who would experience the Path should think deeply on this.

People in ancient times gave up their whole bodies for the sake of this one matter. They stood out in the snow, worked as rice pounders, sold off their hearts and livers, burned their arms, threw themselves into roaring fires, got dismembered and cut to pieces, fed themselves to tigers and birds of prey, gave away their heads and eyes, endured a thousand kinds of pain and suffering.

In sum, if you do not suffer hardship, you will not arrive at deep realization. Those with the will for the Path must certainly consider the ancients as their comrades and aspire to equal their standard.

Yuanwu

 

i ching hexagram 54 ☯️ the marrying maiden


 

In relationships,

desires lead to misfortune.

Behave with discipline

and balance.

 

Keui Mei is concerned with the guidelines for the proper conduct of relationships, whether they be social, romantic, or work related. The image here is of thunder roiling the surface of a lake, and it suggests that relationships can be disturbing to our peace of mind unless they are established and governed under proper principles.

The nature of relationships is that they lead us into the desire state: we begin to desire another, desire recognition, desire retribution, desire a particular outcome in a given situation. All of these desires lead us away from he equanimity that we aim to maintain as students of the I Ching. This hexagram often comes as a sign that you are in danger of sacrificing your composure in an effort to affect a relationship.

When someone does not treat you as you would like, you are faced with a choice as to what to do. While it may be tempting to abandon the relationship in anger or act aggressively to produce a result, neither of these is consistent with proper principles. You are counseled instead to return to inner independence, acceptance, modestly, and gentleness. The greatest influence is always had through inner discipline and balance; less subtle measures may produce more immediate results, but they are seldom lasting.

This hexagram also teaches us that rushing into a relationship, rushing to resolve a relationship, or rushing to escape a relationship are all akin to rushing on ice: each invites a panful fall. Seek to establish relationships slowly and on proper principles, to allow them to evolve naturally, and to resolve disputes with patience and reserve. If your primary relationship – that with the Sage – is open and ongoing and devoted, then all other relationships will fall into place.
 

from The I Ching, or Book of Changes

Hexagram 54, Kuei Mei / The Marrying Maiden

 

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make a oneness of the world

 

Once 

you’ve begun 

to understand the Way, 

concentrate upon it without  

pause. This is the sunlight 

that matures the fruit of

your realization. 

 

Maintaining 

your insight through 

whatever comes, you make 

a Oneness of the world, and

conditions such as “good”

and “bad” drop 

away.

 

Wei wu Wei Ching, Chapter 40

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wake up! don’t waste time


 

What

is the good

in clinging to slogans,

quotations, and formulas?

This is passing around stale bread.

Just shut the language door,

open your awareness,

and don’t look

back.
 

Wei wu Wei Ching, Chapter 50

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☯️

 

I wouldn’t say

that in recent times those who

study the Way do not try hard, but they often

just memorize Zen stories and try to pass judgement on

the ancient and modern Zen masters, picking and choosing among

words and phrases, creating complicated rationalizations

and learning stale slogans. Will they ever be done

with this? If you study Zen like this, all you

will get is a worn out collection

of antiques and

curios.

 

Yuanwu