Chapter 23: Several More Looking Methods
9. Simply by looking into the blue sky beyond clouds, the serenity.
10. Listen while the ultimate mystical teaching is imparted. Eyes still, without blinking, at once become absolutely free.
11. At the edge of a deep well look steadily into its depths until - the wondrousness.
12. Look upon some object, then slowly withdraw your sight from it, then slowly withdraw your thought from it. Then.
We live on the surface of ourselves - just at the fringe, the boundary. The senses are just on the boundary and your consciousness is way deep down at the center. We live in the senses; that is natural. But that is not the ultimate flowering, it is just the beginning. And when we are living in the senses, we are basically concerned with objects, because senses are irrelevant unless there is concern with some object of enjoyment. For example, eyes are useless unless there is something to be seen, ears are useless unless there is something to be heard, and hands are useless unless there is something to be touched.
We live in the senses; therefore, we have to live in objects. The senses are just on the boundary of the being, in the body, and objects are not even on the boundary: they are beyond the boundary. So three points have to be understood before we enter the techniques.
First, the consciousness is at the center. Second, the senses through which the consciousness moves out are at the boundary. And third, the objects in the world to which the consciousness moves, through the senses, are beyond the boundary. These three things have to be remembered: consciousness at the center, senses at the boundary and objects beyond the boundary. Try to understand it clearly, because then the techniques will be very simple.
Look at it from many directions. One: senses are just in between, just in the middle. At one side is consciousness, at another side is the world of objects. Senses are just in the middle - between the two. From the senses you can move either way: either you can go to the objects or you can go to the center. Either way the distance is the same. From the senses, doors open both ways - move to the objects or move to the center.
You are at the senses. That is why one of the most famous Zen masters, Bokuju, has said that nirvana and the world are the same distance away. So do not think that the nirvana is very far away. The world and the nirvana, this world and that other world, are both at the same distance.
This saying has created much confusion because we feel that nirvana is very, very far away - that Moksha, liberation, the kingdom of God, is very, very far away. We feel that the world is just near, just here. But Bokuju says, and he says rightly, that both are at the same distance.