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Chapter 5: Meditation: The Method of Great Liberation

Daikaku said to his assembly of monks: “Sitting meditation is the method of great liberation; all the teachings flow forth from this; myriad practices are mastered this way. Supernormal powers, knowledge, wisdom and virtue, all arise from here. The path of life of humans and gods opens herein; all the buddhas have entered and left by this door. Bodhisattvas practicing it have entered this door. Disciples and self-enlightened ones are still only halfway there, while outsiders, though they practice, do not enter the right path. Whatever esoteric or exoteric schools do not practice this, do not have anyone who realizes the way of buddhahood.”

A monk then asked Daikaku, “What does it mean that sitting meditation is the root source of all the teachings?” Daikaku answered, “Meditation is the inner no-mind of the enlightened ones; discipline is their outer character; doctrine is their speech; buddha-remembrance is the invocation of the Buddha’s name. All come from the enlightened no-mind of the buddhas; therefore, it is considered fundamental.”

The monk asked again, “The method of meditation is formless and thoughtless; spiritual qualities are not obvious, and there is no proof of seeing reality - so how can we believe in this?”
Daikaku said, “Your own no-mind and the enlightened no-mind are one - is that not spiritual quality? If you don’t know your own no-mind, on whom can you call for witness and proof? Other than the identity of no-mind and buddha, what proof do you seek?”

Maneesha, Daikaku is making some very important statements for those who are on the path; not for those who are seeking knowledge, respectability, reputation. Daikaku is a master only if you are a seeker. Unless your whole life depends on a single point of finding your own center, the very source of your being, you will not be able to understand what Daikaku is saying.

But this assembly is no ordinary crowd. This assembly is of the bodhisattvas, who are essentially buddhas, and their urge to explore their inner reality to its totality has brought them from all corners of the world. This is the right assembly for a man like Daikaku.

Daikaku said to his assembly of monks:
“Sitting meditation is the method of great liberation.”

It is very strange that just by silently sitting, watching your thoughts moving here and there as if they do not belong to you - you don’t have to do anything about them, not even make a judgment - just sitting silently not doing anything, and the door opens. Your ultimate reality is not something to be sought in the outside world; it is hidden in the seeker himself. The moment you start looking for it here and there, you are going far away, far away from yourself. There is no need to go anywhere. Just sit down, settle down. The mind is just like dust in water. If you are patient enough, the dust will settle and the crystal-clear water will be there reflecting the full moon.

Zen does not preach any discipline, any doctrine, any practice. It is one of the greatest blessings to humanity that Zen has made the search for oneself so obvious and so simple.

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