good dust, bad dust?

This Fundamental Mind can be compared to a mirror, and whether covered with dust or not, a mirror is a mirror. It remains unchanged no matter how long it is dirtied and covered with dust, and once the dust is removed, it gleams as brilliantly as ever.

Even golddust is only dust to a mirror and an obstruction to its function. In the same way, words of the sages are but dust on our Fundamental Mind and they merely darken it.

-Zen Master Song Cheol

The ignorance and dust of desires are enlightenment and the sufferings of birth and death are nirvana.

-the Maka Shikan

I suppose it depends on what teaching suits you at this moment…

6 thoughts on “good dust, bad dust?”

    1. I almost want to post it again with those two poems!

      Although the Hui Neng’s points to a greater truth, I have to appreciate Shen Hsiu’s practicality in getting there. They do seem to compliment each other in that way, though!

  1. Now your comment of “depends what teaching suits you at the moment” made the line, “the great way is not difficult for those who do not pick and choose.” I think it is a little irrelevant in this context, but heck, I just thought I’d throw it into the pot since it popped into my head.

    I like that “gold dust” can be as obscuring (perhaps more?) than other dusts.

  2. Hi Joseph,

    Yeah, the only problem is – it’s only knowledge. And patchy, not even slightly complete. And not backed up by application and practice! Pretty useless really!

    I think ZDS hit the nail on the head with that magnifent quote, as did you with the comment that the appropriate teaching depends upon the needs of the student at any particular moment.

    And there’s me, always, picking and choosing, doing all that Affirming Faith in Mind counsels against! LOL!

    “Cut off all useless thought and words and there’s nowhere you cannot go. Returning to the root itself, you’ll find the meaning of all things.”

    But I’m getting there. Gradually learning to put all this mental activity down (it’s hard but what a rest when I can!) and just relaxing! For me, faith helps in that. It’s my greatest help in fact.

    All the best and thank you Joseph and ZDS,


    PS – yes, why not re-post it with the other poems too? Great idea!

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