Chapter 5: In the Blink of an Eye
Nobody else’s answer can be your answer. Your answer has to grow within you, just as a rose grows. That’s what the master is saying by hitting you: Don’t go anywhere, just go in; stop asking, stop begging, because you are already in the kingdom of the buddhas but you have not looked in. Perhaps a good hit, perhaps the master throwing the disciple from the window may awaken him from his somnambulistic state - the state in which we all are.half asleep, half awake, just at the minimum awake.
The major part of our being is fast asleep. According to modern psychologists, only one part out of ten is awake; nine-tenths are fast asleep. With this much sleep within you, it is impossible to know the truth, to know love, to know the nature of existence.
Daio is saying that these ancient masters had to fall back on strange methods, but there was simply one reason: in some way to wake you up.
Even though this is so, eminent Genchu, you have traveled all over and spent a long time in monasteries. Don’t worry about such old calendar days as these I mentioned - just go by the living road you see on your own.
He is saying all the old masters and the buddhas and the patriarchs are old calendars - don’t be bothered about them. Follow the living stream which you see with your own eyes - no belief, no faith, simply be clear. Zen requires of the disciple a clarity, an intelligence, an awareness, which have not been required by any other religion in the world or by any other philosophy in the world. Its requirement is absolute.
Daio says, “Don’t worry about such old calendars. Just go by the living road, from where your life is coming.” From whatever point your life is arising, that is the living road. It is not outside you. You have to dig deep within yourself for the roots and for the way that connects you with the universal existence. It is simply an internal affair.
Just go by the living road you see on your own - don’t ask me and don’t ask anyone else what the living road is. Just close your eyes and see for yourself what the living road is. You are alive - that much is certain; it is proved by your questioning. You are breathing. Just close your eyes and find out where all these branches are joined to the trunk, and where the roots are hidden in the universal energy.
This is the living road, and nobody can point it out to you. You have to find it yourself.
Just go by the living road you see on your own; going east, going west, like a hawk sailing through the skies. Don’t be worried - wherever it leads, go. Finally it will bring you to the very center of existence.
In the blink of an eye, you cross over to the other side. The happening happens only in the blink of an eye. The distance between the buddha and the no-buddha is so small, the distinction between the awake and the asleep is so small, that just in the blink of an eye you have already moved to the further shore, to the other shore.