Behind The Mind: The Lost Writings of Wu Hsin

Zen Landscape

One of the most beautiful and unknown gems in Eastern non-duality, whom I recently discovered thanks to my mentor GD, is Wu Hsin. Born a hundred years after Confucius, his name literally means ‘no-mind’. And true to his name, there is no trace of him available – no profile, no wikipedia entry, one single image. This is just how he would have liked it I suppose – after all, what is the value in deliberating over the life story of someone who says our life story is a dream?Wu Hsin

Behind The Mind’ is a collection of his short daily discourses, some of them literally just a few sentences long, at the end of which he tells students to ponder over the words till the next day. Like the recent and better-known Nisargadatta Maharaj, Wu Hsin’s words are stark, unsentimental and powerful. “Listen to Wu Hsin,” he says, “but do not expect to benefit in any way. Who is there to be benefitted? Any seeming benefit is only another stitch in the tapestry of the personal narrative.”

A few timeless pointers from this must-read collection: 

An imagined entity desires to become an enlightened imagined entity. What’s the point? It is like trying to measure space. Yet, this will continue until such time as the distinction is made between this that I am and that that I appear to be.

Dismount the pendulum of fear and desire. That ground beneath you is the Source and Support.

See that you create the space in which the world moves, the time in which it lasts. Come to realize that the world is only sand. You may play with it, you may walk on it, but don’t build your house there. There is no journey, as such. It may not seem so, but we are always back where we started. What we were in essence, and what we will be in essence, is what we are in essence.

All thinking is imaginary because the person talking to you is imaginary. There is no self talking to yourself; in fact, there also is no “yourself”. Stay a time in silence. Do not accept these words; look for yourself for “yourself”.

The two great delusions are that life is controllable and that there is an entity, me, who can exercise said control. But if we cannot even control the thoughts that appear to us, how can we possibly believe we can control what occurs to us?

Wherever you go, you carry with you the sense of here and now. This is what distinguishes any present experience from memory. It reveals that space and time are in you and not the other way around. Most people are not acquainted with the sense of their being but only with the knowledge of their doing.

Enlightenment is one more concept to add to your collection, yet another idea regarding improving yourself, discovering yourself, or obtaining peace and happiness.

Don’t take life personally. The sun has no care for what passes through the sky.

* * *

Image used under creative commons via Avard Woolaver

19 thoughts on “Behind The Mind: The Lost Writings of Wu Hsin

  1. Thanks for telling us about Wu Hsin, I think I have heard of him but never followed it through. Now you’ve given us this presentation, I’ll go ahead and get it on Kindle…

  2. Dear Aalif Sir ,

    Thank you tonss for sharing such beautiful thoughts and telling us about Wu Hsin. I have never heard of such greatness…
    Inspiring quotes.. 🙂
    God Bless U always Aalif Sir.. 🙂

  3. “And true to his name, there is no trace of him available – no profile, no wikipedia entry, one single image.” – The image is from the book by Rob.
    Although message is profound and extremely powerful, Wu Hsin may just be a fictional character. Possible ?

  4. Pingback: the jitensha metaphor | dhamma footsteps

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