Sounds as Originally Silent

Yutang Lin

Barking of dogs and chirping of birds at times heard;
During chanting they interspersed the sound of inverted bell.
After recalling and anticipating have faded away into harmony,
Abiding in original silence while observing sounds of the world.


Sound is a sensation resulting from the combination of certain conditions; it fluctuates with changes in the flow of conditions. Let mind chase not after sounds; let sounds be present or absent as they are. When sounds present, nothing to grasp; when absent, nothing lost. Thus content with the original state, then presence of sounds is no different from their absence, and one immediately comprehends that sound is originally silent. The above belongs only to comprehension. As to application of this understanding, that in symphony or choir each member plays a part without being interfered is close to this. Having practiced singing along (please read my work "The Practice of Singing Along") for many years, gradually I am able to transcend recalling and anticipating and abide in the sound present; the mind at such time is naturally abiding in original silence.

Sounds are originally silent; could forms, smells, tastes, feelings and mental objects be any different? Merely comprehending could not transcend. One should practice according to the Dharma to thoroughly attain it.

Written in Chinese: June 26, 1999
Translated: October 5, 1999
El Cerrito, California

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