The Hsin-Hsin Ming is one of the earliest writings in the Ch'an (Zen) Buddhist tradition and is attributed to Seng Ts'an, the third Zen patriarch. It consists of a small number of verses circling around the same theme: drawing distinctions (and attachments require distinctions) destroys the very possibility of perceiving the Truth, the Way. By not making distinctions and generating the accompanying "dualities", one can recognize that the universe and the "ten thousand things" within it are one, that things are as they should and must be, as they always have been and always will be. One's mind will be quiet; one will be at peace... There are warnings in the Hsin-Hsin Ming that this state of mind is not attained by effort or ideas; one must simply stop the effort of making distinctions. (Here "simply" definitely does not mean "easily", because our minds are constantly making these distinctions without any apparent effort.) I find Ch'an (Zen) Buddhism to be fascinating and have practiced zazen - the Zen meditation technique - in the past.(*) It is a remarkable product of human minds, will and effort; and it has inspired countless works of art and literature and has influenced the form of most of the cultures of East and Southeast Asia. And I find the distance between Zen Buddhism and the original teachings attributed to Gautama Buddha in the Pali canon to be every bit as remarkable. Gautama Buddha taught the "Middle Way", the mindful and moral way between extremes, whereas Ch'an Buddhism adopted many aspects of Taoism, an older and most interesting tradition of thought and practice in China, and became, well, rather extreme... A newcomer to Zen Buddhism should not begin with the Hsin-Hsin Ming , but, for someone with the necessary background preparations, the Hsin-Hsin Ming is a particularly pure, distilled expression of the soul of Zen (as it seems to me).(*) Indeed, I know intimately the significance of the saying: "What is the meaning of the coming of Bodhidarma from the West? Much sitting and getting weary." By the way, Bodhidarma was the name of the Indian monk who was said to have brought Buddhism to China.