Chapter 1: The Lion’s Roar
In this song of Hakuin you will see the way of seeing - how to open the eyes. Because truth is always there, has been always there. It is not that the truth has to be produced. Buddha says: Yatha bhutam: It is! It is already there, it is confronting you. It is in the east, it is in the west, it is in the north, it is in the south, it surrounds you - it is without and it is within. But you will have to see it: Ihi passika. Your eyes are closed, you have forgotten how to open them. Meditation is nothing but the art of opening your eyes, the art of cleansing your eyes, the art of dropping the dust that has gathered on the mirror of your consciousness.
It is natural that dust gathers. Man has been traveling and traveling for thousands of lives - dust gathers. We are all travelers, much dust has gathered - so much so that the mirror has completely disappeared. There is only dust upon dust, layers and layers of dust, and you cannot see the mirror. But the mirror is still there - it cannot be lost, because it is your very nature. If it can be lost then it will not be your nature: it is not that you have a mirror, you are the mirror. The traveler is the mirror, he cannot lose it he can only forget it - at the most, forgetfulness.
You have not lost your buddhahood. Buddhahood means the mirror clean of dust. The mirror again fresh, again reflecting, again functioning - that’s what buddhahood is. Buddhahood means a consciousness that has become awakened: the sleep is no more, the dreams are no more and the desires have disappeared. The dust gathers, it is natural. But you cling to the dust; your desire functions like glue.
And what is your desire? That has to be understood. If you have understood your desire you have understood all because in the understanding of desire, desire ceases. And when desire ceases, suddenly you have a totally new feel to your being; you are no more the old.
What is the desire? What are you searching? What are you seeking? Happiness, bliss, joy - that’s what you are seeking. You have been seeking for millennia, and you have not yet found it. It is time, the right time to think again, to meditate again. You have been seeking so hard, you have been trying so hard - perhaps you are missing just because you are trying? Maybe it is trying that keeps you away from happiness? Let us think over it, brood over it. Give a little pause to your search - recapitulate.
You have been searching for many lives. You don’t remember other lives, no need - but in this life you have been searching, that will do. And you have not found it: nobody has ever found by searching, something is wrong in the very search. In the search naturally you forget yourself; you start looking everywhere, everywhere else. You look to the north and to the east and to the west and to the south, and in the sky and underneath the seas, and go on searching everywhere. The search becomes more and more desperate, because the more you search and don’t find, great anxiety arises - “Am I going to make it this time, or am I again going to miss it?”
More and more desperation, more and more misery, more and more madness - you go nuts. And happiness remains as far away as ever, in fact it recedes farther away from you. The more you search the less is the possibility to get it, because it is inside you.