Sen T’Sen, aka Seng T'San, Jianzhi Sengcan, Kanchi Sosan, Third Chinese Patriarch of Zen

T’Sen, aka Seng T'San, Jianzhi Sengcan, Kanchi Sosan, Third Chinese Patriarch of Zen
c. 520
c. 606

Chinese Dharma Successor to Dazu Huike, known as the Third Patriarch of Zen

Author Quotes

Words! The Way is beyond language, for in it there is no yesterday no tomorrow no today.

When no discriminating thoughts arise, the old mind ceases to exist. When thought objects vanish, the thinking-subject vanishes: As when the mind vanishes, objects vanish.

When the deep meaning of things is not understood, the mind?s essential peace is disturbed to no avail.

When the thought is in bondage the truth is hidden for everything is murky and unclear. And the burdensome practice of judging brings annoyance and weariness. What benefit can be derived from distinctions and separations?

With a single stroke we are freed from bondage: Nothing clings to us and we hold to nothing. All is empty, clear, self-illuminating, with no exertion of the mind?s power. Here thought, feeling, knowledge and imagination are of no value. In this world of suchness there is neither self nor other-than-self. To come directly into harmony with this reality just say when doubt rises "not two". In this "not two" nothing is separate, nothing is excluded. No matter when or where, enlightenment means entering this truth. And this truth is beyond extension or diminution in time and space: In it a single thought is ten thousand years.

With not even a trace of self-doubt, you can trust the universe completely. All at once you are free, with nothing left to hold on to. All is empty, brilliant, perfect in its own being.

Don't keep searching for the truth; just let go of your opinions.

The thirtieth patriarch Kanchi Daishi [daishi, "great master"] went for instruction) to the twenty-ninth patriarch and asked, "The body of the student is possessed by mortal illness. I beg you, master, wipe away my sins." The patriarch [Hui-k'o] said, "Bring me your sins here, and I'll wipe them away for you." The master [Seng-ts'an] sat in silence for a while, the said, "Although I've looked for my sins, I can't find them." The patriarch said, "In that case I've already thoroughly wiped away your sins. You should live in accordance with Buddha, dharma, and sangha" [samb?].

Emptiness here, emptiness there, but the infinite universe stands always before your eyes. Infinitely large and infinitely small; no difference, for definitions have vanished and no boundaries are seen. So too with Being and non-Being. Don?t waste time in doubts and arguments That have nothing to do with this.

The Way is perfect like vast space where nothing is lacking and nothing in excess. Indeed, it is due to our choosing to accept or reject that we do not see the true nature of things.

Essential emptiness has no inside or outside ?Sin and virtue leave no traces there. Mind and Buddha are fundamentally thus; the Teaching and Community are clear.

The wise man strives to no goals but the foolish man fetters himself.

For the mind in harmony with the Tao, all selfishness disappears.

There is one Dharma, not many.

If the eye never sleeps, all dreams will naturally cease. If the mind makes no discriminations, the ten thousand things are as they are, of single essence. To understand the mystery of this One-essence is to be released from all entanglements.

Things are objects because of the subject (mind): the mind (subject) is such because of things (object). Understand the relativity of these two and the basic reality: the unity of emptiness. In this Emptiness the two are indistinguishable and each contains in itself the whole world.

If you do not discriminate between coarse and fine you will not be tempted to prejudice and opinion.

Those who do not live in the single Way fail in both activity and passivity, assertion and denial. To deny the reality of things is to miss their reality; to assert the emptiness of things is to miss their reality. The more you talk and think about it, the further astray you wander from the truth. Stop talking and thinking, and there is nothing you will not be able to know.

If you don't live the Tao, you fall into assertion or denial.

To follow your true nature is to unite with the Way; be at ease and worries will cease. Fixation of thought is unnatural, yet laziness of mind is undesirable.

Although all dualities come from the One, do not be attached even to this One. When the mind exists undisturbed in the Way, nothing in the world can offend. And when a thing can no longer offend, it ceases to exist in the old way.

If you wish to move in the One Way do not dislike even the world of senses and ideas. Indeed, to accept them fully is identical with enlightenment.

To live in the Great Way is neither easy nor difficult. But those with limited views are fearful and irresolute: the faster they hurry, the slower they go. And clinging (attachment) cannot be limited: Even to be attached to the idea of enlightenment is to go astray. Just let things be in their own way and there will be neither coming not going. Obey the nature of things (your own nature) and you will walk freely and undisturbed.

As vast as infinite space, it is perfect and lacks nothing. But because you select and reject, you can't perceive its true nature.

In it there is no gain or loss; one instant is ten thousand years. There is no here, no there; infinity is right before your eyes. The tiny is as large as the vast when objective boundaries have vanished; the vast is as small as the tiny when you don't have external limits.

Author Picture
First Name
Last Name
T’Sen, aka Seng T'San, Jianzhi Sengcan, Kanchi Sosan, Third Chinese Patriarch of Zen
Birth Date
c. 520
Death Date
c. 606

Chinese Dharma Successor to Dazu Huike, known as the Third Patriarch of Zen