Chapter 2: Twenty-Four Hours a Day
You can experiment yourself. You can see from where your anger arises - it is the mind; from where your emotions arise - it is the mind. Mind is a big phenomenon; it covers conceptual thinking, it covers your emotional patterns, your sentiments. To Buddha, the mind contains all that arises in you, and the heart is that which is always silent and empty and watching.
What is the truth of the heart? - Silence and watchfulness.
The man resolute in the way must, from the beginning, never lose sight of it.
From the very beginning one should remember that we are in search of a place, a space, where nothing arises - no dust, no smoke; where everything is pure and clean, utterly empty, just spaciousness. One should be clear from the very beginning what we are looking for.
.never lose sight of it, whether in a place of calm or in a place of strife, and he must not be clinging to quiet places and shunning those where there is disturbance.
Zen is not against the world. That is one more of its rebellious attitudes against all religions. All religions somehow condemn the world. All religions praise those who have renounced the world, those who have gone away from it, renouncing the wife, the children, the home.
Somebody has some day to do deep research into how many millions of people have left the world in the name of religion and caused to suffer small children, old parents, wives and husbands; who have disturbed the life of many in the name of religion. And do you think these people have found anything? They have simply created many prostitutes, many orphanages, many poor old people, dying without food or medicine. And what have they gained? Not a single one of them has attained to buddhahood.
Zen is very clear and straightforward about everything. It is not a question of renouncing the world; the question is of renouncing your mind.
Wherever you go, your mind will go with you. Your knowledge will go with you, your prejudices will go with you, your scriptures will go with you. Your idea that you are a Hindu or a Mohammedan will go with you. So what are you renouncing?
Zen does not want you to renounce the world but to renounce the mind, so that you can find the empty heart. The empty heart is your purity, your virginity. This empty heart opens the door to the universal and the eternal.
Daikaku is saying that people ordinarily do one thing: wherever there is strife or some disturbance, they avoid that place. These are the people who have renounced the world because to be in the world is a difficult task, every moment there is some difficulty. They are escapists.