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Chapter 5: The Sky of Realization

Have you ever seen a mirror asking, “Why do you have such a Jewish nose? Can’t you manage a little plastic surgery?” The mirror simply says nothing. Whether you have a Jewish nose or a Chinese nose is not the concern of the mirror. Its concern is only to reflect what comes in front of it, not to comment or judge. Judgment is of the mind, commentary is of the mind. The mirror simply watches silently. Everything is okay; the mirror is at ease with everything it reflects. The mirror will not ask you, “Hey man, where did you lose your tail? According to Charles Darwin you should have a tail when you dropped from the trees and became man. Who are you trying to cheat?” It will not ask a monkey, “Why don’t you drop your tail and become a man? Just get a good tailor!”

Simple things, but the mirror is absolutely silent - rejoicing in whatever is happening without any comment, any recommendations, any questions.

But Basui goes on being astray.

Should you question yourself in this wise, with profound absorption, never slackening the intensity of your effort.

This is too much! Zen is against effort, Zen is a let-go. All the religions of the world are for effort. Hence this statement will not be criticized anywhere except by a man of Zen. Zen is not effort. Effort is tension, effort is work, effort is to achieve something.

Zen is not something to achieve. You are already that. Just relax, relax so deeply that you become a revelation to yourself. Now Basui is going too far away from authentic Zen.

Never slackening the intensity of your effort, your rational mind eventually will exhaust itself and only questioning at the deepest level will remain.

Who will question at the deepest level? If the rational mind is exhausted, there is nobody to question, there is only a mirror simply reflecting.

Poor Basui still has to go a few rounds of birth and death, unless by chance he meets an authentic master who gives him a good hit on the head and brings him to his senses - “Forget this idea. Do you think you are realized? All your statements make it clear that you don’t know the sky of realization, the space that opens up for a realized man.” What to say about questions, even answers are not found.

Finally you will lose awareness of your own body.

This is not true. You will never lose awareness at any point. On this great pilgrimage your awareness will become more and more, but never will a point come when you will lose awareness. Awareness is the quality of the mirror. He is saying, Finally you will lose awareness of your own body. You will certainly lose the identification with the body, but that is not losing awareness of the body. You will know: “This is the body, and I am not connected with it.” But even this much will not be verbal. It will be just like when I can see that you are there, I can never think by mistake that I am sitting there, so I don’t have to drop the idea that I am sitting there.

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