Chapter 5: The Sky of Realization
Upon such realization, question yourself even more intensely in this wise: “My body is like a phantom, like bubbles on a stream. My mind, looking into itself, is as formless as empty space, yet somewhere within, sounds are perceived. Who is hearing?”
Should you question yourself in this wise, with profound absorption, never slackening the intensity of your effort, your rational mind eventually will exhaust itself and only questioning at the deepest level will remain.
Finally, you will lose awareness of your own body. Your long-held conceptions and notions will perish, after absolute questioning, in the way that every drop of water vanishes from a tub broken open at the bottom. Perfect enlightenment will follow like flowers suddenly blooming on withered trees..
While you are doing zazen, neither despise nor cherish the thoughts that arise; only search your own mind, the very source of these thoughts. You must understand that anything appearing in your consciousness or seen by your eyes is an illusion, of no enduring reality. Hence you should neither fear nor be fascinated by such phenomena. If you keep your mind as empty as space, unstained by extraneous matters, no evil spirits can disturb you, even on your deathbed. While engaged in zazen, however, keep none of this counsel in mind. You must only become the question, “What is this mind?” or, “What is it that hears these sounds?” When you realize this mind, you will know that it is the very source of all buddhas and sentient beings.
Anando, before I say something about Basui’s statements a small preface is needed, because it is very difficult to distinguish a teacher from a master. And it is essential for everyone who is on the path to exactly make that distinction, because both use the same language, and sometimes even the teacher may be more articulate. That is the case with Basui.
Unfortunately I have to say to you that he is still a teacher and not a master. I am hoping that before the series ends he will come to his senses. It will be difficult for those who have not experienced their innermost consciousness to know where he goes wrong, or where he is just repeating right words. Because even right words when used by the mind become wrong, and even wrong words when used by a master become devices. Anybody who is studying and not meditating, just studying the scriptures and not entering into his own consciousness, will find it very difficult to know whether Basui is a teacher or a master.
The master is one who knows. He may not be able to convey it. Most probably he will keep silent; even if he speaks his speech will be leading towards speechlessness. His words are pointing towards a wordless existence. He is not a man of language, he is a man beyond mind.