Part Two: Dharma Discourses

Chapter Seven: Exhortations to Practice of the Way


46. The Master continued, “Let me offer some examples in explanation of the operation of the even and constant mind.
1) In whatever matter, standing by the position one has taken if it is the right one and always maintaining consistent faith and loyalty signifies the even and constant mind. With conviction that transcends all circumstances, neither acceptance nor rejection can bring increase or decrease in one’s mind, nor can ignominy or glory alter or budge it. Thus, once a resolution has been made, one can break through myriads of difficult situations; and even when one finally faces the gate of birth and death, one remains calm and composed, without the slightest hint of trepidation or importunity. This is the even and constant mind as made manifest in faith and loyalty.
2) Once we have formed mutually beneficent relationships with people, the spirit of interactions that is always consummate and unalloyed signifies the even and constant mind. One’s spirit transcends various factions and does not become entangled in aversion or attachment, so that whenever a situation arises, one pursues only fairness. When granting beneficence, one pursues only no-thought, without an intent to render benefits here and bring harm there, or a thought of liking someone at one time and disliking that person at another; and, even if the beneficiary should become ungrateful, one’s mind does not change at all from the time of rendering beneficence. This is the even and constant mind as made manifest in interactions.
3) As we are living in this world and facing circumstances of wealth or poverty, having emotional responses that are always simple and forthright signifies the even and constant mind. One’s demeanor remains always equanimous, so that one is neither ignoble in poverty nor conceited in wealth; even if one wears fancy clothes and eats gourmet food, one does not display arrogance externally, nor feel ashamed internally even if one wears humble clothes and eats coarse food. This is the even and constant mind as made manifest in wealth and poverty.
4) When we come into this world and encounter situations that are either safe or dangerous, maintaining an unchanging spirit signifies the even and constant mind. Even when one is safe, one should never let go of a suitable measure of caution; even when in danger, one should never transgress standards and proprieties. Thus, a spirit that is immovable and composed whether at leisure or in the midst of disturbances is the even and constant mind as made manifest in safety and danger.”