The Essential Scripture...


The Essential Scriptures of the Buddha and Patriarchs

Sūtra in Forty-Two Sections

Section 34

There was a śramaṇa who was reciting sūtras one evening, but his voice was plaintive and strained as if he were regretful and vacillating. The Buddha summoned that śramaṇa and asked him, “When you dwelled at home, what did you do?” He answered, “I often played the lute.” The Buddha asked, “What happened when the strings were too slack?” “They wouldn’t sound.” “What happened if the strings were too taut?” “Their sounds were clipped short.” “What happened if the strings were tuned just right?” “Their sounds were all perfectly resonant.” The Buddha said to the śramaṇa, “Studying the way is exactly the same. Keep your mind properly tuned and dwell in purity; then the way can be attained.”