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Chapter 3: Emptiness and the Monk’s Nose

Sekkyo said to one of his monks:
can you get hold of emptiness?

I’ll try, said the monk,
and he cupped his hands in the air.

That’s not very good, said Sekkyo,
you haven’t got anything there.

Well, master, said the monk,
please show me a better way.

There upon, Sekkyo seized the monk’s nose
and gave it a great yank.

Ouch! yelled the monk. You hurt me!

That’s the way to get hold of emptiness,
said Sekkyo.

Man is too full of himself and that is his undoing.

Man should be like a hollow bamboo, so that existence can pass through him. Man should be like a porous sponge - not hard - so that the doors and the windows of his being are open, and existence can pass from one end to another without any hindrance; in fact, finding no one inside. The winds blow - they come in from one window and they go out from another window of his being. This emptiness is the highest bliss possible. But you are like a hard, unporous rock, or like a hard steel rod. Nothing passes through you. You resist everything. You don’t allow. You go on fighting on all sides and in all directions as if you are in a great war with existence.

There is no war going on, you are simply befooled by yourself.

Nobody is there to destroy you. The whole supports you; the whole is the very earth on which you are standing, the very sky in which you breathe, you live. In fact, you are not - only the whole is.

When one understands this, by and by one drops the inner hardness, there is no need for it. There is no enmity, the whole is friendly towards you. The whole cherishes you, loves you. Otherwise, why are you here? The whole brings you forth, like a tree is brought forth by the earth. The whole would like to participate in all your blessings, in all the celebrations that are possible. When you flower, the whole will flower through you; when you sing, the whole will sing through you; when you dance, the whole will dance with you. You are not separate.

The feeling of separateness creates fear, and fear makes you unporous. The feeling of insecurity, as if the whole is going to destroy you, the feeling that you are a stranger here, an outsider, and that you have to fight your way inch by inch towards your destiny, makes you a hard steel rod. Of course, then many things simply disappear from your life. You live in anguish, you live in anxiety, you live in intense pain, but you live this of your own accord. Be porous. Be floating. Fight is not needed at all. Rather, a merger is needed.

These are the two attitudes open to man: the attitude of a warrior and the attitude of a lover. It is your choice - you can choose.

But remember.certain consequences will follow.

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