I find the 'mirror' to be one of the most powerful teaching images in Zen Buddhism, and it runs all through this week's reading.
The round, clear, borderless mirror reflects all things, all the world, without judgment. It holds easily, without resistance, what is to be shown, both the beautiful and the ugly. All individual things held before it are held as one in the one, whole, unbroken image we see ... and we are reflected too. In the mirror, there is no rejection of the ugly, no desire for the pleasant. Such clear, spacious, encompassing, non-judgmental mind is one face of what is to be attained by this Practice.
On the other hand, if we let the mirror get too dusty with obstructions, the dirt and grime of greed, anger and ignorance, then the image becomes hard to see. The mirror appears shattered, stained and broken.
You may recall the famous poetry slam in the "Platform Sutra of the 6th Patriarch". It is said that Shenxiu lost the contest with these lines ...
The body is a Bodhi [Perfect Wisdom] tree,
the mind a standing mirror bright.
At all times polish it diligently,
and let no dust alight.
and that Huineng won the day with this little diddy ...
Bodhi is no tree,
nor is the mind a standing mirror bright.
Since all is originally empty,
where does the dust alight?
But, really, it is not that Shenxiu was wrong (in fact, their Master, Hongren, praised each in its way) and both are truly right at once ... both two sides of a complete view. In fact, Huineng's job in the temple was polishing rice which ... like a mirror ... must have the dust removed.
We polish polish polish, even though the mirror itself is perfectly clear even without our polishing!
Now: LOOK WITH MIRROR-MIND AT YOUR OWN FACE IN THE MIRROR. WHAT/WHO IS SEEING/SEEN?
Cook at 217
Hixon at 203