Anything is Nothing

Posted: November 28th, 2013





Anything is Nothing

            The poem, ‘The Mind of Absolute Trust’ by Seng-Ts’an’s is a deep poem explaining inner thoughts of the author. This poem is describing the Classical Chinese culture. According to the linage of the author, Seng-Ts’an’s, he is believed to be the Third Chinese Patriarch of the Zen culture. When the first Zen, Damo, came in to China, he tried to introduce his methods of culture and nobody believed him. When Seng-Ts’an’s came to China, he persuaded people to follow the Zen method. In the poem, Seng-Ts’an’s has incorporated some of the Buddhism theories to educate people about Zen.

In the first sentences of the poem, ‘the great way isn’t difficult for those who are unattached to their preferences’ Seng-Ts’an’s is trying to relate the poem to the philosophy of Taoism (Seng-Ts’an’s 2012). Taoism is defined as the great way. Therefore, Seng-Ts’an’s starts by educating his readers about Taoism by offering a simple definition of Taoism philosophy. Additionally, when reading the first sentences, the author is trying to remove any hesitations readers might be having about the method. This attracts the reader’s attention.

As one continues to read, the author indicates, ‘be peaceful in the oneness of things, and all errors will disappear by themselves’ to show readers the deeper meaning of Taoism (Seng-Ts’an’s 2012). In this case, readers are made to understand that Taoism philosophy teaches people to be peaceful. Additionally, these teachings are similar to Buddhism where people are expected to be peaceful at all times. This shows how Seng-Ts’an’s has incorporated Buddhism in the poem to show the similarities of the two philosophies despite their differences.

Additionally, when readers are reading the poem they can notice the deeper meaning or the depth of the poem. The poem itself is talking to the readers by telling them to reflect on certain issues in reality. In the poem, the phrase ‘don’t keep searching for the truth; just let go of your opinions. For the mind in harmony with the Tao, all selfishness disappears’, asks the readers to perform exercises that shall eradicate all selfish activities (Seng-Ts’an’s 2012). In this case, the poem is communicating to the readers about some of the pressing issues in the society.

After reading the whole poem, I have come to understand clearly, what Seng-Ts’an’s is communicating. When reflecting to my whole life until present, there have been so many hurdles that I have had to encounter. The first hurdle was when I wanted to become number one in high school and become famous. I tried hard and the only thing that I could achieve was becoming top ten. Using the information in the poem, I have come to realize that it does not matter whether I became number one, what mattered was the amount of wisdom I gained.

Additionally, the poem is urging the readers to embrace nature and forget all the troubles and conflicts that are disturbing and we will have peace in our hearts and minds. In this case, as reader of the poem, I have realized that deep down in my heart I was number one despite the fact that I was always top ten but never number one. The amount of wisdom I accumulated in trying hard is enough for me to become the best student. Therefore, this poem can be described as a deep poem because the readers will always have to reflect on their lives after they have read the poem, for soul searching.




Works Cited

Seng-Ts’an’s. The mind of Absolute Trust. February 21, 2012. Web. February 21, 2012.


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