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ZEN

THE ORIGINAL MAN

Chapter 1: You simply are

 

Energy Enhancement             Enlightened Texts             Zen             The Original Man

 

OUR BELOVED MASTER,
BASUI SAID:
IMAGINE A CHILD SLEEPING NEXT TO ITS PARENTS AND DREAMING IT IS BEING BEATEN OR IS PAINFULLY SICK. THE PARENTS CANNOT HELP THE CHILD, NO MATTER HOW MUCH IT SUFFERS, FOR NO ONE CAN ENTER THE DREAMING MIND OF ANOTHER. IF THE CHILD COULD AWAKEN ITSELF, IT COULD BE FREED OF THIS SUFFERING AUTOMATICALLY.
IN THE SAME WAY, ONE WHO REALIZES THAT HIS OWN MIND IS BUDDHA FREES HIMSELF INSTANTLY FROM THE SUFFERINGS ARISING FROM IGNORANCE OF THE LAW OF CEASELESS CHANGE WITHIN THE SIX REALMS. IF A BUDDHA COULD PREVENT IT, DO YOU THINK HE WOULD ALLOW EVEN ONE SENTIENT BEING TO FALL INTO HELL? WITHOUT SELF-REALIZATION ONE CANNOT UNDERSTAND SUCH THINGS AS THESE....
IN A DREAM, YOU MAY STRAY AND LOSE YOUR WAY HOME. YOU ASK SOMEONE TO SHOW YOU HOW TO RETURN OR YOU PRAY TO GOD OR BUDDHAS TO HELP YOU, BUT STILL YOU CAN'T GET HOME. ONCE YOU ROUSE YOURSELF FROM YOUR DREAM STATE, HOWEVER, YOU FIND THAT YOU ARE IN YOUR OWN BED AND REALIZE THAT THE ONLY WAY YOU COULD HAVE GOT HOME WAS TO AWAKEN YOURSELF.
THIS KIND OF SPIRITUAL AWAKENING IS CALLED "RETURN TO THE ORIGIN" OR "REBIRTH IN PARADISE." IT IS THE KIND OF INNER REALIZATION THAT CAN BE ACHIEVED WITH SOME TRAINING. VIRTUALLY ALL WHO LIKE ZAZEN AND MAKE AN EFFORT IN PRACTICE, BE THEY LAYMEN OR MONKS, CAN EXPERIENCE TO THIS DEGREE. BUT EVEN SUCH PARTIAL AWAKENING CANNOT BE ATTAINED EXCEPT THROUGH THE PRACTICE OF ZAZEN. YOU WOULD BE MAKING A SERIOUS ERROR, HOWEVER, WERE YOU TO ASSUME THAT THIS WAS TRUE ENLIGHTENMENT IN WHICH THERE IS NO DOUBT ABOUT THE NATURE OF REALITY. YOU WOULD BE LIKE A MAN WHO, HAVING FOUND COPPER, GIVES UP THE SEARCH FOR GOLD.

Anando, Basui is apparently right, but there are possibilities that the enlightened man can create devices for the unenlightened. It is certainly one of the most impossible jobs, to talk to a sleeping man or to enter in somebody's dreams. But I say that Basui is only relatively true, because I constantly enter into your dreams. There will be many witnesses for it.
He is saying:
IMAGINE A CHILD SLEEPING NEXT TO ITS PARENTS AND DREAMING IT IS BEING BEATEN OR IS PAINFULLY SICK. THE PARENTS CANNOT HELP THE CHILD, NO MATTER HOW MUCH IT SUFFERS, FOR NO ONE CAN ENTER THE DREAMING MIND OF ANOTHER.
There is no need to enter into anybody's dreaming mind.
By chance Anando is here to read the sutras instead of serious Maneesha.
(THE MASTER REACHES TOWARDS ANANDO, HIS HANDS FURIOUSLY QUIVERING IN A "REMOTE-CONTROL" TICKLE. ANANDO, TOTALLY TAKEN BY SURPRISE, COLLAPSES INTO UNCONTROLLABLE LAUGHTER. MUCH TAKEN BY THE INFECTIOUS GIGGLING, THE MASTER THEN DECIDES TO TICKLE EVERYONE, AND FOR A FEW GOLDEN MOMENTS, RIPPLES OF TICKLING AND LAUGHTER FILL THE AUDITORIUM.)
The parents can do at least this much: they can tickle the child. No need to enter into his dreams, just wake him up. Existence manages so beautifully... that Maneesha is absent, by chance, and the right child is sleeping in front of me. And you can see, not only can I tickle her, the tickle spreads all over. Even the children of the neighborhood will be awakened!
That's why I say Basui is only relatively true. As far as I am concerned, he is not. I have tickled people, I have entered in their dreams. I constantly trespass, because you love me, you trust me. What is your trust for? If I cannot trespass, if I cannot interfere in your dreams, what is your love for me? There is no point in being here at all if I cannot help, in some way, to awaken you.
So always remember, there are relative truths and there are absolute truths. Basui is saying a relative truth: ordinarily it is true, but only ordinarily. For an extraordinary master to create devices which can wake you up is just a playful game, because what are your dreams? -- just imagination. What is your sleep...? Just a little cold water thrown into your face and the sleep will disappear. The master has just to be aware of who is prepared to receive the gift, the device, gratefully.
But relatively it is true; nobody can enter into your dreams, into your sufferings. You have to wake yourself up. It is a very difficult task to wake yourself up. The enlightened person cannot wake you, and Basui is hoping that the sleeping person will wake himself up -- not much chance! The sleeping person will go into another dream and another dream... Even his waking will be a dream. Just as the awakened person's sleeping is a waking, the sleeping person's waking is also full of dreams.
Just close your eyes and you will see dreams floating. You are engaged outside so they keep waiting by the side for when you are finished with your work. But you dream day in, night out... continuously. You can change the names; you can call it imagination, fantasy, dreaming, but these are names for the same stuff that is not there, but you project it.
Basui says:
IF THE CHILD COULD AWAKEN ITSELF, IT COULD BE FREED OF THIS SUFFERING AUTOMATICALLY.
Obviously, but the problem is how the child can awaken itself. In the first place, in his dreams there is no dream of awakening. He has never seen the awakened one. He cannot even dream of a buddha, he cannot even dream of a dreamless state -- how is he going to awaken himself? It can only be accidentally, not automatically.
I take note even of simple words which one may ignore. Basui is saying, IF THE CHILD COULD AWAKEN ITSELF, IT COULD BE FREED OF THIS SUFFERING AUTOMATICALLY.
I have my objections. First, anything that you are freed of automatically you can be fettered with again automatically, because it was never in your hands. Your slavery was out of your hands; your freedom is also out of your hands. And `automatically' is not the right word to use in the world of consciousness. In the world of consciousness things can happen spontaneously, but not automatically. Perhaps Basui is not well versed. He is a man who knows, but he is not a man who can express the inexpressible. He is trying his best.
I say a child can awaken accidentally, for example, if a rat runs over the child. And if, for example, the child is Anando, can you think what will happen? -- an explosion in Lao Tzu house! The rat is not concerned with your enlightenment, but you will become enlightened... at least for the moment. And then you can go to sleep again.
Anything from outside can disturb your mind, and your dreams are nothing but your mind. So it cannot be said that the child can be freed of this suffering automatically. Once in a while it has happened that the child has come to the end of dreaming and is fed up with the dreaming. The child is only a symbol for a sleeping humanity. Everybody at a certain moment is going to get bored with what he is doing. And how long has he been doing it?
Even in sleep... and everybody is in sleep with open eyes. The sleep does not denote your ordinary sleep, it denotes your spiritual sleep. You are not aware of yourself, that is the meaning of sleep. But for how long? It depends on your intelligence. If you have no intelligence at all then you never feel bored. Boredom is the measurement. Just watch a buffalo; you cannot find on the whole earth a buffalo that is bored, or even has thought about it -- boredom? It has not come into the consciousness of the buffalo.
In humanity, the people with the very highest intelligence -- like Jean-Paul Sartre, or Jaspers, or Martin Heidegger, or Soren Kierkegaard -- suddenly came out with a new idea which humanity had never thought about. That was the idea of boredom. Man's real problem is boredom and he goes on avoiding it. He goes on hoping good days will come, that the night will be over, that sooner or later there will be a sunrise. But as far as boredom is concerned, it has been gathering since eternity.
But only a very few intelligent people -- who can be counted on ten fingers, from all around the world -- have touched on the sense of boredom. And particularly the people who created the philosophy of existentialism based it on the question of boredom: man is so bored that except suicide there seems to be no exit.
In Dostoevsky's THE BROTHERS KARAMAZOV, perhaps the most important novel that has ever been written, one of the brothers -- it is a history of the three brothers Karamazov -- is an atheist and another brother is a very devoted theist. The atheist brother says to him, "Listen, if by chance you prove to be right and you meet God... I don't believe that this is going to happen, because there is no God in my conception, but you insist that there is a God, so do at least a little service for your brother. Just tell your God, `My brother wants to get out of this existence. You have bored him enough.'"
Suicide seems to be the only exit -- not a very brave, not a very courageous one, but it looks like an escape. In existentialist circles this has been a continuous problem, that if we feel that suicide is the only thing then we should commit suicide. And the answer was always, "Who knows? After suicide things may be even worse. We don't have any way to compare, we don't have any alternatives, we cannot come back. If we commit suicide and then we think, `My God, what have I done? This is a far bigger hell that I have entered.' Now there is no going back... So we cannot live peacefully, and we cannot die peacefully."
It is not something new. In the West it is new, but in the East, as far back as we can see, the question has been asked but has taken a totally different turn. In the West they think, "How to get out of this boring anguish that we have been told is life?" In the East we have also thought about life -- but not going out of it, going beyond it.
That is the difference between Western existentialism and Eastern existentialism. In the East there never existed a particular school because every seeker was seeking a beyond. Only more life can dispel the boredom -- more radiant life, more vibrant life, more eternal life.
The Western existentialism seems to be defeatist, a failure: this life is not worthwhile, the only way is to jump in a lake. But you should be aware that the whole East, in its long history -- which is longer than the West's -- has never thought about suicide as a solution, because life continues. By suicide you simply miss a great opportunity for transcendence. Every master in the East has been against suicide because if you are so ready to commit suicide, then why not try a jump beyond life? You have nothing to lose; at the most it may be a suicide.
Meditation is a jump beyond life. It is not getting out of life, it is getting to the very center of life. The people who have entered at the very center of life have shown such grace, such beauty, such presence that they have even become a tremendous inspiration for millions. Just their very presence has transformed people. The question is not of time but of understanding.
Everybody can be freed from nightmares, from sufferings, from miseries, but of course not directly. The problem is that you cannot be freed from your suffering directly because you are clinging to it. It is not the suffering that is the problem, it is you who are clinging which is the problem. You don't want to leave it. You brag about it, you talk about it. You even talk about how to get out of this misery. But one who has eyes can see that you are clinging to the misery as hard as possible.
Just the presence of a master can help you to see whether the misery is clinging to you, or you are clinging to the misery. That is a very decisive point. Once you see that you are clinging to the misery, you are freed. Just the seeing of it, the very understanding, is freedom.
Looking deep into your minds, you will find how you are clinging. Somebody insulted you ten years ago and you still remember it as if it is something precious. In fact it was his problem that he shouted and was angry, it was not your problem. If you had simply remained a watcher, there would have been no scratch in your mind for these ten years... and whenever you see the person, the scratch becomes deeper....
All that is needed is to pass through life as a reflecting mirror, not as the film of a camera. The film of a camera catches hold of whatever is reflected on it -- that is its function. The mirror also reflects but it never catches it. Things go on passing -- the camera goes on filling with new pictures, reflections, but the mirror remains empty.
Remain empty in this world not holding on to anything, and you have entered into a new field of energy which is your own. You have just been neglecting it because you were too occupied with unnecessary non-essentials.

IN THE SAME WAY, ONE WHO REALIZES THAT HIS OWN MIND IS BUDDHA FREES HIMSELF INSTANTLY FROM THE SUFFERINGS ARISING FROM IGNORANCE OF THE LAW OF CEASELESS CHANGE WITHIN THE SIX REALMS. IF A BUDDHA COULD PREVENT IT, DO YOU THINK HE WOULD ALLOW EVEN ONE SENTIENT BEING TO FALL INTO HELL?
He is making commonsense statements. It is true, if a buddha could prevent it then not a single human being would fall into the hellfire. But that does not mean that the buddha is not making every effort. The problem is that you are also involved in it; a buddha cannot disturb your freedom. If you want to go to hell he will simply show you the path. Out of compassion he will make it clear to you what hell is: "Do you know...?" But if you are bent upon going to hell -- it is an experience...!
A buddha -- anyone who is awakened -- without any effort creates an energy field. It is not right to say that he creates it, he finds an energy field spreading around himself. Whoever is touched by that energy field will not be the same again. He will start changing and transforming in a miraculous way. Sometimes even in spite of himself, he will do things which only a buddha can do. His old habits, his ignorance, his unconsciousness, all will be against it, but the feeling of a buddha, his presence... It may be a very slight experience, a very small flame, but it is enough to dispel the darkness of millions of years.
Don't think that it is small. Just one evening's meditation, if you really touch the inner center, is more powerful than all your ignorance that you have lived for centuries, is more powerful than all your habits, is more powerful than all your personality. Just a single flame, and slowly it becomes a great fire in which all that is false is burned, and only the pure gold remains behind.
WITHOUT SELF-REALIZATION ONE CANNOT UNDERSTAND SUCH THINGS AS THESE....
IN A DREAM, YOU MAY STRAY AND LOSE YOUR WAY HOME. YOU ASK SOMEONE TO SHOW YOU HOW TO RETURN OR YOU PRAY TO GOD OR BUDDHAS TO HELP YOU, BUT STILL YOU CAN'T GET HOME.
In a dream, whatever you do is part of the dream. It is a very mysterious realm. You can have in a dream another dream. For example, in a dream you think of your girlfriend. You go to the girlfriend's home and you find that she has gone to see a movie, and you go to see the movie. And you are surprised that you and your girlfriend both are playing a part in the movie.... A dream can be very complicated.
You can dream that you have come home and gone to sleep, and that you are dreaming. A dream within a dream within a dream is possible... it just needs a very unconscious mind. You can also dream of meeting a god or meeting a buddha, but the gods of your dreams and the buddhas of your dreams have no value at all. They are still dreams, good or bad. When you wake up you know. You may have been a great king or you may have been a beggar -- it does not matter. When you wake up both have disappeared.
IN A DREAM YOU MAY STRAY AND LOSE YOUR WAY HOME. YOU ASK SOMEONE TO SHOW YOU HOW TO RETURN OR YOU PRAY TO GOD OR BUDDHAS TO HELP, BUT STILL YOU CAN'T GET HOME. ONCE YOU ROUSE YOURSELF FROM YOUR DREAM STATE...
On this point he has given no explanation of why you should rouse yourself. There must be some causality; otherwise dreaming can be so sweet.

A man was telling his friend, "Last night... My God what a dream! I went fishing and I caught such big fish that I had to carry them, with difficulty, one at a time to my home. The whole night I was fishing and fishing, but the fish were so big and huge... you should have seen them. It was the dream of the century."
The other man said, "This is nothing. Last night I dreamed that Sophia Loren and Marilyn Monroe both were sleeping in my bed, and I was in the middle. I thought, My God, I am a poor man and I have never thought that such great fortune... Marilyn Monroe on one side and Sophia Loren on the other side...!"
The other man became angry. He said, "You say you are my best friend -- why didn't you call me?"
He said, "Wait! I did call you. I immediately phoned and your wife said you had gone fishing."

Your dream world is just a reflection of your real world. You cannot wake up without a particular device that has been created for you. Once in a while a person comes to a point where he is fed up with everything, dreaming included. But that happens very rarely -- in centuries, after millions of people have come and gone. So one cannot depend on it. It cannot be made a principle, it is so exceptional. It only proves the rule. It does not discredit the rule.
The rule remains the same, that it is a transmission of the lamp from the master to the disciple. It can go on being transmitted for thousands of years. The master has just to be clear before he transmits it, that the disciple will be able to carry it.

I will tell you a small anecdote from the inexhaustible history of beautiful Zen incidents....
One great Chinese Zen master was ready to leave the body, so he called a gathering of the monks. The monastery had two wings, each wing having five hundred monks.
So all of the one thousand monks gathered and he told them, "This week sometime, I am going to leave the body. I have not decided the day, because I have to choose the person to whom to transmit the flame. My method of choosing is that just in front of my hut, whoever thinks that he is capable of receiving the flame should write a sentence that describes the essence of Zen."
In those one thousand monks, there were a few very eminent scholars, and everybody thought that one of four people was bound to win the game. "We know much, but in a single sentence the very essence... and the master is not an ordinary master, you cannot deceive him."
Even the scholars were not ready to expose themselves, because it would be a great exposure if he said that what you have written is not the right thing. But one scholar who was the most famous in the monastery and its surroundings, went in the middle of the night so that nobody would know that he had written it. He wrote a beautiful piece that ordinarily would have been accepted. He said, "No-mind and the revelation of the buddha is the essence of Zen."
You cannot say anything against it. The poor fellow had done quite well. But in the morning when he saw it, the master said, "Who is the idiot? Catch hold of him... he has not signed his name."
Out of fear, the scholar had not signed his name. He was waiting so that if the master appreciated it he would come out, and if he did not appreciate it amongst one thousand sannyasins he would not be able to find who was the person who had written it.
He told his attendant to clean the wall. There was a great discussion all over the monastery, "This is strange. This sentence was clearly showing the very essence of Zen: No-mind, the discovery of the buddha. This is the essence of Zen."
As much as it was discussed... it was so tremendously important who was going to be the successor. Two monks were discussing it while passing a monk who had been there for twenty years, doing nothing but cleaning rice for the monastery from the early morning when he would get up, until late at night. It was not an easy job to prepare rice for one thousand monks.
Twenty years ago when he was young, he had come to the master and the master looked into his eyes and said, "If you really want to be here, just keep a few things clear. Never come again to me, just go to the kitchen. The man who used to work with the rice is dead, so you take his place. From morning till night just clean the rice, prepare the rice. You are not to participate in any sermons, in any meditations, or listen to any scriptures."
Strange conditions... a man comes to the monastery to know the truth not to prepare the rice. But the man said, "Once I have accepted you as my master, whatever you say is my way. You will never see my face again, unless you come to me."
And twenty years is a long time. The whole monastery had almost become unaware of the poor monk, because who takes notice of a man whose whole work is just to prepare rice day after day, year after year? He is not a scholar, he does not discuss anything with anybody, he does not talk with anybody, he has no friends. He was accepted almost like an automatic machine. Nobody took any notice of him.
But that morning the master came to the man, looked into his eyes again and said, "Can you improve upon this? `No-mind, discovering the buddha. This is the very essence of Zen?'"
He laughed and he said, "Some idiot must have done it. I have heard... just people walking here and there discussing it..."
"What is your idea?" the master asked.
The man said, "No-mind, no buddha, pure nothingness. What is the need to say this is the essence of Zen? It is. But no-mind, no buddha..."
The master accepted him as his successor, gave him his robe, his staff -- that is traditional in Zen -- and told him, "Run away from the monastery as fast as you can, because I have created one thousand enemies for you. They would like to kill you because they think, `That rice monk... that idiot who never uttered a single word...'"
So he took the robe and the staff, but he told the master, "Because you are telling me, I am doing it; otherwise I am not interested in being a successor. These twenty years have been such a silence. What can you think from morning to night, not talking with anybody, not a word? Just cleaning the rice, preparing the rice, everything has disappeared. And I say to you that when mind disappears completely, the very idea that `I am a buddha' also disappears because that is part of the mind, the last part... only nothingness....
"I am not interested, but if you say, I will take the robe and the staff. But I want you to know that if anybody asks me to give them the robe and the staff, I am not going to resist, I will simply give it. Who cares? I have come home. Now it does not matter whether I am a leader of a great monastery with thousands of monks and great fame and respectability. It does not matter. I am fulfilled unto myself just cleaning the rice. Leave me alone."
But the master insisted, "You have to take them, because there is nobody else to whom I can transmit the lamp."
The whole monastery laughed about it, but they had to accept the "rice monk" -- as he had become known. They had never looked at him, they had never bothered about him. For the first time they saw that his presence was far greater than the master's, his silence was far deeper than the master's, almost tangible. You could touch his silence. You could feel around him a different kind of energy, a different void. You could look into his eyes. No other person tried to take the robe and the staff, even though he was willing.
The rice monk assembled the monks and told them, "I have been chosen as the successor. This is the robe and the staff. If anybody is interested, he can take them, but the very interest will show that he is not the right person. The very motivation, the desire for power will show that he is not the right person. But still I will give them to him because I don't want to be bothered with all kinds of things about the monastery. I am perfectly happy -- I would go back to the kitchen."
But the monks realized that they had been wrong about the poor fellow: "He is not poor. He is the richest monk, although he knows nothing of the scriptures. But because he also dropped the buddha with no-mind, he shows his insight."
The moment you drop the mind, everything is dropped. You disappear just like a ripple in the lake, not leaving a trace behind.

ONCE YOU ROUSE YOURSELF FROM YOUR DREAM STATE, HOWEVER, YOU FIND THAT YOU ARE IN YOUR OWN BED AND REALIZE THAT THE ONLY WAY YOU COULD HAVE GOT HOME WAS TO AWAKEN YOURSELF.
The example is right, but it very rarely happens. When you wake up, most of you find yourself in somebody else's bed. To be true, it is very rare that you find you are in your own bed! Most people get up and go home.
Who is at home? If you were at home then even the possibility of the dream would not exist. You have been traveling along, life after life. Even if you manage somehow accidentally to pass by your home, you will not recognize it. You have been away from it for so long that even the memory, the remembrance has to be a hit on your head that this is your home! What are you looking for... where are you going...?
A master is almost an absolute necessity. You have not gone very far away from the home. However far you may have gone, it is not very far. You just need a magnetic force to pull you back.
The master is only a magnetic force. He says nothing, but without saying, the magnet pulls. He describes the home so that you can recognize it when you have come close to it. He describes the experiences that will happen on the way back home, the blissfulness, the peace, the silence, the ecstasy, the utter relaxation. He describes everything just to remind you that when you come closer to home these things will start happening. They will help you to find home.
Without the master, without someone who has already reached his home and knows what kind of experiences happen on the path, it is almost impossible to wake up on your own.

THIS KIND OF SPIRITUAL AWAKENING IS CALLED "RETURN TO THE ORIGIN" OR "REBIRTH IN PARADISE." IT IS THE KIND OF INNER REALIZATION THAT CAN BE ACHIEVED WITH SOME TRAINING.
VIRTUALLY ALL WHO LIKE ZAZEN AND MAKE AN EFFORT IN PRACTICE, BE THEY LAYMEN OR MONKS, CAN EXPERIENCE TO THIS DEGREE. BUT EVEN SUCH PARTIAL AWAKENING CANNOT BE ATTAINED EXCEPT THROUGH THE PRACTICE OF ZAZEN. YOU WOULD BE MAKING A SERIOUS ERROR, HOWEVER, WERE YOU TO ASSUME THAT THIS WAS TRUE ENLIGHTENMENT IN WHICH THERE IS NO DOUBT ABOUT THE NATURE OF REALITY. YOU WOULD BE LIKE A MAN WHO, HAVING FOUND COPPER, GIVES UP THE SEARCH FOR GOLD.
Basui seems to be a man who is awakened but is not articulate enough to transfer inwardly what he has experienced. There have been three kinds of masters. The first kind never speaks, knowing perfectly well that he is not articulate enough to use words for a wordless experience. It is better to be silent than to say anything that is not rightly directing to the moon. He knows his incapacity; he remains silent. He is called the arhata; He has conquered the enemy. Arhata means one who has conquered the enemy, the ignorance, the unconsciousness, but one who is not able to transmit the lamp to anyone else.
The second category is of the bodhisattva, one who is articulate enough to manage words in such a way that they start indicating towards something beyond the words, who is capable of arbitrary devices so that you can become awakened.
The third category has not been recognized in the ancient scriptures anywhere, but I want you to know that Basui belongs to the third category. It would have been better for him to be silent and be an arhat. Rather than being silent he is trying to be a bodhisattva. That's why he is committing so many mistakes. Although he knows, he is not able to express it, or even to indicate it in a correct and adequate way.
This category has not been recognized, but certainly there have been many, and I will tell you who the people are who belong to this category. It would have been better for them to remain silent like the arhatas, but perhaps out of compassion they tried their best. Intentions don't matter; their expression is childish. They cannot be bodhisattvas. All their words are borrowed, although they have their own experience. So I will not call them the teachers.
It is strange that this category has not been recognized separately. Perhaps very rarely people have tried the way Basui is trying -- with all good intentions, with compassion -- but he is not capable. You may have good intentions, but that does not mean you can play on a guitar. You may have all the good intentions, but that does not mean you can dance. It needs a totally different quality, a certain genius, which is missing.
Whatever he is saying is more or less true, but not very sharp... like a sword cutting all that is false in a single blow. He is a very mild kind of bodhisattva, a lukewarm bodhisattva.
Let us call this new category the lukewarm bodhisattva.

Ryokan wrote:
WITHOUT A JOT OF AMBITION LEFT
I LET MY NATURE FLOW
WHERE IT WILL.
THERE ARE TEN DAYS OF RICE
IN MY BAG,
AND BY THE HEARTH,
A BUNDLE OF FIREWOOD.
WHO PRATTLES OF ILLUSION
OR NIRVANA?
FORGETTING THE EQUAL DUSTS OF
NAME AND FORTUNE,
LISTENING TO THE NIGHT RAIN
ON THE ROOF OF MY HUT,
I SIT AT EASE,
BOTH LEGS STRETCHED OUT.

Now, this is a sharp, swordlike man saying things clearly....
"Without a jot of ambition left I let my nature flow where it will" -- no direction, no destiny. I give my nature total freedom.
"There are ten days of rice in my bag" -- enough. Who lives with certainty for more than ten days? Enough. Nature has taken care up to now, it will take care after ten days. So I don't collect, it is enough.
"And by the hearth, a bundle of firewood" -- what a richness! What a contentment in utter poverty! Even kings will be jealous of this man.
"Who prattles of illusion or nirvana?" -- and who bothers whether I am awakened or not awakened, whether I am in an illusion, in a dream, or in nirvana...? In awakening, "who prattles?"
"Forgetting the equal dusts of name and fortune" -- all is dust of name and fortune.
"Listening to the night rain on the roof of my hut... both legs stretched out." Relaxed, listening to the dance of the rain on the roof -- this is a right way of expressing the inexpressible. He is expressing utter relaxation, no concern even about nirvana, so silent....
He is saying, "I sit at ease, both legs stretched out" as if time has ceased, nothing matters. This is the space in which you can say you have come home.

Dogen wrote:
THE WORLD?
MOONLIT DROPS
SHAKEN FROM THE CRANE'S BILL.

Just a watcher, sitting silently, watching the world....
"Moonlit drops shaken from the crane's bill" -- nothing to do, nowhere to go, just silently... to watch the whole drama.

 

 

Next: Chapter 1: You simply are, Question 1

 


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GAIN ENERGY APPRENTICE LEVEL1

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STUDENTS EXPERIENCES  2005 AND 2006

 

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