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Chapter 1: How Full, Emptiness!

Meditation is the search for that hidden eye that can see your origin. It is called the buddha-eye. But a great turning is needed. You have to close off the world completely, even if just for a single moment, and give a turn to your whole being, to look inside the well from where you are coming.

And don’t think about anything else, because this experience of looking into yourself will explain everything that was a question to you. Thousands of answers were there, but no answer was able to satisfy it.

If you want to know the origin, then penetrate your own original heart. This heart is the source of all beings in the world and outside the world. When the heart stirs, various things arise. But when the heart itself becomes completely empty, the various things also become empty. If your heart is driven round neither by good nor bad, then all things are just as they are.

Zen has no idea of judgment. It never judges that somebody is a sinner or somebody is a saint. These are only waves; there is no need to waste your time on waves. If you know the ocean, you will not bother about the waves. One wave turns in one way, the other in another way, but they all belong to the same ocean and they all dissolve finally into the same ocean.

So the only thing worth consideration is not what is good and what is bad, but what is the origin from where your heart has come. It is an existential approach - not theoretical, not philosophical.

Master Otsu, commenting on this emptying of the heart, said:
The heart becomes empty, the situation quiet, and the body just as it is.

Everything remains the same, nothing changes. This does not mean that the man who has approached the very origin of existence becomes somebody special. Everything remains the same. But on the other hand, everything starts looking different. Now he can see the beauty of the flower that you cannot see. His eyes are so fresh that he can see the beauty of a sunset that you cannot see. Your eyes are so full of dust, you are hardly able to see. You cannot penetrate to the very origin of a flower.

But a man who knows his origin knows the origin of everything. He never makes any judgment. This is a great contribution to human consciousness: not to make judgments. That is a very low kind of morality, a very low kind of religion, which goes on making judgments about good and bad.

In Zen everything is, as it is, a manifestation of the cosmic soul. It has to be loved and respected. It does not matter what the manifestation is doing. What matters is that the man who is a thief or a murderer is also coming from the same source as you are, and he will be going to the same source as you are.

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