Relative and Absolute

The Identity of Relative
and Absolute

The mind of the Great Sage of India was intimately conveyed from West to East.
Among human beings are wise ones and fools
But in the Way there is no northern and southern Ancestor.
The subtle source is clear and bright; the tributary streams flow through the darkness.
To be attached to things is illusion; to encounter the absolute is not yet enlightenment.
Each and all the subjective and objective spheres are related, and at the same time independent.
Related and yet working differently.
Though each keeps its own place, form makes the character and appearance different.
Sounds distinguish comfort and discomfort.
The dark makes all words one; the brightness distinguishes good and bad phrases.
The four elements return to their own nature as a child to its mother.
Fire is hot, wind moves, water is wet, earth hard.
Eyes see, ears hear, nose smells, tongue tastes the salt and sour.
Each is independent of the other.
Cause and effect must return to the great reality
Like leaves that come from the same root.
The words high and low are used relatively.
Within light there is darkness, but do not try to understand that darkness.
Within darkness there is light, but do not look for that light
Light and darkness are a pair like the foot before and the foot behind in walking.
Each thing has its own intrinsic value
and is related to everything else in function and position.
Ordinary life fits the absolute as a box and its lid.
The absolute works together with the relative like two arrows meeting in mid air.
Reading words you should grasp the great reality.
Do not judge by any standards.
If you do not see the Way,
You do not see it even as you walk on it.
When you walk the Way it is not near, it is not far.
If you are deluded, you are mountains
and rivers away from it.
I respectfully say to those who wish to be enlightened
Do not waste your time by night or day!

Zen Center of Los Angeles Translation

Connect with Us

Join Village Zendo's newsletter to receive updates on events, workshops and retreats, and our monthly bulletin.

Thank you for subscribing!