Sayings of Old Ch’eng

translation by Mike Dickman

ISBN: 978-1-887276-22-1 LIST PRICE $ 10 (HARD COVER)

On the nature of original mind. This is an English translation by Mike Dickman of a text of unknown provenance, given to a Frenchman by a Buddhist monk in old colonial Indochina. In this text, Old Ch’eng points to the self existing reality that is free from mental fabrications – a state free from religious dogma.

“The original mind has always been right before your eyes. There is nothing for you to discover or achieve. Nor have you ever lacked that which would enable you to see it.”
– from The Sayings of Old Ch’eng

Finally, the book for spiritual seekers who are tired of seeking -the book for spiritual followers who are tired of following.


…these words on the scroll you read:

If I say they’re by Buddha
you’ll think they’re holy and
be struck with trembling and awe.

If I say they’re by Bodhi-dhama
or some other such great patriarch
you’ll be overwhelmed with reverence
before a text of such eminence.

If I say they’re by some unknown monk
you’ll quickly be filled with doubt,
suddenly no longer sure what you’re
really supposed to think.

If I tell you they’re by the kitchen monk
you’ll burst out laughing, sure I’m having you on.

So what counts for you is not
the actual truth of the text itself but
how important you think it is and the
reputation of whoever you imagine wrote it.

You can’t see by yourselves
and understand only through
the opinions of those you choose
to place above your heads.


Mike Dickman is a long-time practitioner of Buddhism and has translated many texts of the Nyingma and ‘Drigung Ka’gyü schools of Tibetan Buddhism as well as Saying of Old Cheng, published by Cool Grove Press. He lives in Paris, France