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Chapter 15: Can We Celebrate Now?

Once you are awake you never ask. Not a single person in the whole of history has ever asked this. When he is awake, he is out of the dreams and there is no question of getting rid of them.

The very idea of “getting rid of” means you still have it. This is a very significant statement by Obaku: “Illusion is illusion. Getting rid of illusion is illusion. Just be awake.” There is no need to get rid of it. Illusion is just writing in the air, soap bubbles.

When there is not a hair’s breadth of something to rely on,
this is called “Giving away with both hands,
and thus receiving buddhahood.”

This is a Zen expression. “Giving with both hands” means giving totally, not halfheartedly. Your two hands represent your totality. Your mind is divided into two parts. The right hand represents your left mind, the left hand represents your right mind; crosswise they are connected.

So it is just a symbol of totality: giving with both hands - keeping nothing back, holding nothing. And a man who can give himself to existence with both hands, awakes, becomes a buddha himself.

“Giving away with both hands
and thus receiving buddhahood.”

Don’t be deceived by language. It is the poverty of language that words have to be used which are not correct. “Receiving buddhahood”: the word receiving is not right because buddhahood does not come from somewhere else.

If I was in the place of Obaku, I would say, “Open both your hands and you are the buddha.” Your clinging, your greed, your holding things is the only problem. Just be as open as the sky and buddhahood blossoms in your being.

Haikyu said, “There being nothing to rely on,
how can anything be transmitted?”

He seems to be of a philosophical mind. His questions are logical, but Zen or existence or being are simply there, without any logic. He is asking:

“There being nothing to rely on,
how can anything be transmitted?”
Obaku said, “Mind.”

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