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Hsin Hsin Ming - Verses on the Perfect Mind

Hsin Hsin Ming - Verses on the Perfect Mind

Postby eputkonen on Thu May 04, 2017 3:04 pm

From the Introductions:

The Hsin Hsin Ming (Shinjinmei in Japanese) is a verse attributed to the Third Chinese Chan (Zen) Patriarch Seng’tsan (known as Sosan in Japan). Written in the 6th century, it is considered the first clear and comprehensive statement of Zen.

The title is often translated as “Faith in Mind”, but John McRaeargues that the title should be translated as “Inscription on Relying on the Mind” or “Inscription of the Perfect Mind.” I chose the call this“Verses on the Perfect Mind.”

The Hsin Hsin Ming has been much beloved by Zen practitioners for over a thousand years. It is still studied today in Western Zen circles.I find it is as relevant today as it was then.

Complete book at - https://www.scribd.com/doc/11505262/Hsi ... rfect-Mind
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Re: Hsin Hsin Ming - Verses on the Perfect Mind

Postby Linda Anderson on Thu May 04, 2017 4:31 pm

Our local zen veteran is speaking about his new book tonight at Many Rivers Books and Tea in Sebastopol, CA.... "On Trusting the Heart"

https://www.amazon.com/Trusting-Heart-Commentary-Xin-Ming/dp/1537136208

The early history of Zen / Chan in China has left us with a multitude of insightful works that continue to inspire many people today. One of these is the poem known as the Xin Xin Ming, or ‘On Trusting the Heart’ written by Sengcan, the third teacher of this tradition in China, following Bodhidharma and Huike. Jim Wilson, the author of this commentary on the Xin Xin Ming, was introduced to the poem by his teacher, Zen Master Seung Sahn. As part of his practice Jim chanted the poem every morning for several decades. In addition, he read material about the poem and other commentaries that are available in translation. Though Jim wrote his commentary over 30 years ago, he has just now published it for the general public. In the commentary Jim integrates his meditation practice, his knowledge of western philosophy and views, and shows how this ancient poem meaningfully guides us in realms of thought and spiritual practice that are surprisingly varied.



Jim Wilson is a former Zen Monk, former Abbot of a Buddhist Temple, and served as a Chaplain at a Prison for the Criminally Insane. He currently spends most of his free time writing poetry and is a member of the local Quaker Meeting.
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Re: Hsin Hsin Ming - Verses on the Perfect Mind

Postby bokki on Fri May 05, 2017 1:24 am

i have not read it all
linda

oh well most of it

thnx
linda
again and once more
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10,000 frogs singing in the rain
burst into flames

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Re: Hsin Hsin Ming - Verses on the Perfect Mind

Postby Avisitor on Fri May 05, 2017 2:47 am

From your link, it is a book of your interpretation of ...
Is that self promoting?? ... lol

Hmm, no practice under the guidance of a teacher??
Yet, in the about ERIC PUTKONEN, it says you searched for 13 years and awakened in 2005??

Is this why you like talking about Buddhism??

What is this direct path that was mentioned??

Never mind, guess I will have to read the book sometime??
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Re: Hsin Hsin Ming - Verses on the Perfect Mind

Postby macdougdoug on Fri May 05, 2017 8:39 am

eputkonen wrote:The Hsin Hsin Ming (Shinjinmei in Japanese) is a verse attributed to the Third Chinese Chan (Zen) Patriarch Seng’tsan (known as Sosan in Japan). Written in the 6th century, it is considered the first clear and comprehensive statement of Zen.

The Hsin Hsin Ming has been much beloved by Zen practitioners for over a thousand years. It is still studied today in Western Zen circles.I find it is as relevant today as it was then.


Thanks for that, I hadn't previously read the Hsin Hsin Ming. What made you decide to reinterpret it ? Was there something amiss with the existing translations ?
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Re: Hsin Hsin Ming - Verses on the Perfect Mind

Postby eputkonen on Fri May 05, 2017 2:24 pm

macdougdoug wrote:Thanks for that, I hadn't previously read the Hsin Hsin Ming. What made you decide to reinterpret it ? Was there something amiss with the existing translations ?


I had read many translations of the text. Each one seemed to excel in certain areas/sections and seemed just slightly off in other sections - when compared to other translations. So I put together what I understood to be the best translated sections and then unified and smoothed the language for consistency.

Words are funny things...they can have multiple meanings and different words have a different flavors or feelings to them.

This interpretation says the same thing as the others (most of the words are the same in all versions)...but some of the words used convey slightly different flavors.
It was a fun project I did many years ago...reading the many translations...and I just thought I would share the results publicly and freely.
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Re: Hsin Hsin Ming - Verses on the Perfect Mind

Postby Linda Anderson on Fri May 05, 2017 3:25 pm

Thanks, Eric! The more translations the better. Perhaps Gregory will chime in on translations. He's done a few.

As far as I know, translations carry different flavors and purposes, some poetic, some word for word. The essence usually shines through. I was moved to post above... you will note that Jim translates the title as "On Trusting the Heart". Nothing amiss either way.

Linda
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Re: Hsin Hsin Ming - Verses on the Perfect Mind

Postby desert_woodworker on Fri May 05, 2017 4:10 pm

Translations by practitioners are to be preferred.

But as Eric owns, he has not done a translation, but a re-assembly from spare-OEM-parts broken-out from actual translators' products (thus, an idiosyncratic tinkers' construct/reconstruct).

(I suppose we all do this, though, when we read several actual translations side-by-side).

The poem is about elements of practice, and about the world and the body experienced from "correct mind", and how correct-mind illuminates these, and ...itself.

I'd say it still takes a practitioner to speak the right words. Because, it is not about words.

--Joe
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Re: Hsin Hsin Ming - Verses on the Perfect Mind

Postby eputkonen on Fri May 05, 2017 4:17 pm

It is not an translation...but an interpretation. A reworking of the verbiage based on my understanding.
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Re: Hsin Hsin Ming - Verses on the Perfect Mind

Postby Avisitor on Sat May 06, 2017 12:32 am

eputkonen wrote:It is not an translation...but an interpretation. A reworking of the verbiage based on my understanding.

What are your thoughts about Watts?
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Re: Hsin Hsin Ming - Verses on the Perfect Mind

Postby eputkonen on Sat May 06, 2017 1:30 am

Avisitor wrote:What are your thoughts about Watts?


I really like Alan Watts' talks. I have an audiobook called "Out of Your Mind" by Alan Watts and I have listened to it countless times. He is entertaining. He also makes great points and puts across Eastern ideas to a Western mind fairly well.

My wife gave me a couple books by him, but I just couldn't get into his books. I much prefer his talks.
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Re: Hsin Hsin Ming - Verses on the Perfect Mind

Postby desert_woodworker on Sat May 06, 2017 1:48 am

e-put.,

eputkonen wrote:My wife gave me a couple books by him, but I just couldn't get into his books. I much prefer his talks.

Try discipline. Gritting the teeth, even, should it come to it.

His most fun book, THE BOOK, may be one of his (two... ) best. It's basic Hinduism (Advaita Vedanta). Your cup of tea!, I gather. And, why not. Delicious (fun). And, a skinny book.

Don't bother with his "zen" books; they just show him trying to "out-Suzuki" Prof. D. T. Suzuki (in Suzuki's ESSAYS). Embarrassing!, for anyone who lives and breathes. Yet, Watts', THE WAY OF ZEN is succinct-enough an emulation of Suzuki to recommend itself to those who can't afford -- or won't read -- the entire trinity of Suzuki's wonderful, irreplaceable, three ESSAYS, lovely, volumes.

But, no need. Watts' stuff is historically significant, but not much, otherwise.

His best (and earliest?) is definitely BEHOLD THE SPIRIT -- ON THE NECESSITY OF A MYSTICAL RELIGION (1949). He was just off a jag of enmity with the COE (he'd been a Minister), and felt, as one might, who'd left the Ministry in a fine huff, that the Perennial Philosophy, and The-Olde-Time-Religion of mysticism, was de rigueur. I agree(d). I forgot that 'til now: much water over and under various bridges since earliest days. I respect the feller. Wish I could have talked him down from his Alcoholism. Not possible, usually; yet I fault m'self. Survivor's guilt... .

BTW, he never sat zazen. He says so for all to read in his fine autobiography, beautifully titled in utterly and intentionally ambiguous fashion, IN MY OWN WAY. Love 'im, the old coot, the Entertainer, the Jester. He deteriorated before I could shake his hand and throw him over my shoulder onto the (soft... ) mat.

Don't let that happen between me and you; stay alive.

'til-then, then,

:Namaste: / namaskaram,

--Joe
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Re: Hsin Hsin Ming - Verses on the Perfect Mind

Postby Linda Anderson on Sat May 06, 2017 3:11 am

eputkonen wrote:It is not an translation...but an interpretation. A reworking of the verbiage based on my understanding.


I've not been around for a while, seems I'm just in time.

I've always loved this piece. I really don't care if it is a so-called interpretation or a translation. On reading the first few verses, it speaks essence. I'm not going to do a scholarly assessment. I do not see broken-down parts here. ofc, Joe is more formal than I, as you can see from our comments.

Call it what you will, I see that it has roots and is a practice for you. You will find many discussions on having or not having a teacher in the archives. I trust that the way is there for you, whatever that is.

To quote from your piece:
Those who do not understand the Way will assert or deny the reality of things.
Deny the reality of things, you miss its deeper reality;
Assert the reality of things, you miss the emptiness of all things.


Voila!

The dharma lives in us, each one of us, no where else.

Stick around Eric, these are good folks.
linda
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Re: Hsin Hsin Ming - Verses on the Perfect Mind

Postby eputkonen on Sat May 06, 2017 3:23 am

Linda Anderson wrote:Stick around Eric, these are good folks.


Yes...every one.
:ghug:
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Re: Hsin Hsin Ming - Verses on the Perfect Mind

Postby desert_woodworker on Sat May 06, 2017 4:07 am

Linda, e-put., et al.,

eputkonen wrote:
Linda Anderson wrote: ...these are good folks.

Yes...every one.

All but One: the only one there is. Neither good nor bad. If there is indeed as many as "one". But, we can be pretty sure there are "not two".

That's the who
I'm talkin' to.


As if she didn't know.

Coyote! Trickster... .

Fun.

We're on to you.

As you know.

--Joe
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Re: Hsin Hsin Ming - Verses on the Perfect Mind

Postby Linda Anderson on Sat May 06, 2017 5:07 am

hey Joe,
don't go all Coyote on me.... like boxes and lids ... you ole coyote, you :hugs:
linda
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Re: Hsin Hsin Ming - Verses on the Perfect Mind

Postby organizational on Sat May 06, 2017 8:10 am

May Hsin Hsin Ming guide us.

:bow: :daisy:
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Re: Hsin Hsin Ming - Verses on the Perfect Mind

Postby [james] on Sat May 06, 2017 2:01 pm

eputkonen wrote:From the Introductions:

The Hsin Hsin Ming (Shinjinmei in Japanese) is a verse attributed to the Third Chinese Chan (Zen) Patriarch Seng’tsan (known as Sosan in Japan). Written in the 6th century, it is considered the first clear and comprehensive statement of Zen.

The title is often translated as “Faith in Mind”, but John McRaeargues that the title should be translated as “Inscription on Relying on the Mind” or “Inscription of the Perfect Mind.” I chose the call this“Verses on the Perfect Mind.”

The Hsin Hsin Ming has been much beloved by Zen practitioners for over a thousand years. It is still studied today in Western Zen circles.I find it is as relevant today as it was then.

Complete book at - https://www.scribd.com/doc/11505262/Hsi ... rfect-Mind




Hello Eric,

Would you be able to share with us some of the interpretation process that you brought to this poem? How/where/why does your version differ from earlier interpretations and translations?

Why, do you think, do we Zen students and practitioners of today cling to words of past millennia? We find them inspiring and challenging, yes, but does this reliance not obstruct us in recognizing the fullness of our present situation?

I'm happy to be meeting you here,

james
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Re: Hsin Hsin Ming - Verses on the Perfect Mind

Postby eputkonen on Sat May 06, 2017 2:32 pm

[james] wrote:Would you be able to share with us some of the interpretation process that you brought to this poem? How/where/why does your version differ from earlier interpretations and translations?

Why, do you think, do we Zen students and practitioners of today cling to words of past millennia? We find them inspiring and challenging, yes, but does this reliance not obstruct us in recognizing the fullness of our present situation?


I am sorry, but I can not share the interpretation process. It has been so long ago, that I don't remember what I did. I just re-read my own interpretation and it didn't jog any memories of how it came to pass. Does it really matter though?

I am not sure all Zen students and practitioners cling to the words of past millennia. I enjoy the Hsin Hsin Ming for being a pretty good pointer said in brevity. I also enjoyed the book "The Zen Teachings of Huang Po." Just nice pointers (as I recall, I haven't read it but once - many years ago). They are pointers...they are meant to inspire (perhaps)...but it can be a distraction. The answer is not found in the books. And so it may obstruct students/practitioners.

" Words! Words! The Way is beyond language,
Words never could, can not now, and never will describe the Way."
(from the Hsin Hsin Ming)
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Re: Hsin Hsin Ming - Verses on the Perfect Mind

Postby Eunsahn108 on Sun May 07, 2017 4:53 pm

For a great number of different translations of Xinxin Ming, please see:
https://terebess.hu/english/hsin.html

A number of the versions use the word "Faith" in the title. Does anyone's aversion to the word "faith" show an underlying aversion to the word? Is that a preference you don't want to let go of? Questions to ponder from a work that starts (in some versions) with, "The Great Way is easy for those with no preferences."
That being said, I'm partial to Richard Clarke's translation.

_/|\_ :O:
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