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Chapter 2: Unfettered at Last

Although the past was in many ways difficult, on one single point - the search for consciousness - we are now much lower on the scale. You have to understand these dialogues - they don’t belong to the world in which you live, they don’t belong to the mind that you have right now. But intelligence has the capacity to enter into different realms of consciousness, and it is a tremendous experience that people have lived differently, loved differently, heard differently a music, a dance, a beatitude. Even if you can get little glimpses of the world that is lost you will be able to find the track of your own buddhahood.

That was the dedication of all the intelligent people of the past - to find one’s own kingdom, which cannot be taken away; nothing can destroy it, fire cannot burn it. Death does not happen in that dimension, only roses of bliss, lotuses of ecstasy and a freedom that has no limits. A joy comes to every fiber of your being; every cell of your being starts to dance without any reason. Just for the sake of being, one feels at the very highest peak of existence. One cannot ask for more, it has already been given, just we have lost the way to our own home.

These anecdotes relate to those seekers.. They have become very foreign to us; that is why, even though we can understand the language, we cannot understand what is happening inside, behind the curtain. The anecdotes look very ordinary, but they are not ordinary; there cannot be anything more extraordinary than these Zen seekers - their ways of inquiry.

Tokusan is one great master. Before he became a master he came to Isan’s temple. Every master had his own temple, his own monastery. Disciples moved from one monastery to another monastery in search of a man with whom they could fall in love, with whom they can risk all.

And the moment someone finds a master who could become more precious than his own life, that day is the most fortunate day for the disciple. Now there is no more need to go anywhere, the home has arrived. Now one can settle deep in silence, deep in one’s truth. One has found the significance of existence.

Tokusan came to Isan’s temple. Carrying his pilgrim’s bundle under his arm, he crossed the lecture hall, from east to west and west to east; then, staring around, he said, “Mew, Mew,” and went out.
Tokusan reached the gate, but then said to himself, “I should not be in a hurry.”

What has transpired is very simple. Tokusan said to Isan, “I am just like a cat, ‘Mew, Mew.’ Are you capable of teaching an innocent animal? I am utterly ignorant, as ignorant as an animal - are you capable? And I have been searching from east to west, from west to east, and I have not yet come across the man who can be my master.”

Because Isan did not say anything,

Tokusan reached the gate, but then said to himself, “I should not be in a hurry.”

This has been too quick, this inquiry, I did not give enough chance to Isan.

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