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Chapter 7: The Essence Is at Ease

The essence is at ease.. Then you have entered the deep mountains. You need not go to the Himalayas, the Himalayas come to you. There are already Himalayas inside you, nothing is missing there. The Himalayas are there, the high peaks; the Pacific is there, the depth. All heights and all depths are there - infinite heights and infinite depths are there. And the primeval silence reigns there undisturbed. There in your innermost core you are a virgin, and you cannot lose it, there is no way to lose it; your innocence is absolute there, not even a particle of dust has entered there. The mirror is utter transparency. When you can walk in Zen, when you can sit in Zen, when walking is Zen and sitting is Zen, talking or silent, moving or unmoving - it makes no difference, it is all the same - and the essence is at ease, you are entering a new world, a new territory - the inner sky.

Entering the deep mountains
I live in quiet solitude.

Again remember, solitude does not mean solitariness, just as aloneness never means loneliness. Loneliness simply says the other is being missed, aloneness says one is enjoying oneself. Loneliness is in reference to the other that you are missing; aloneness is the presence of yourself.

He always walks by himself, saunters by himself:

This is aloneness, and so is solitude. Solitude is aloneness. You can be in solitude anywhere, but you cannot be solitary anywhere. Solitariness means there is nobody, you are alone; you have to move, you have to move away from people. Solitariness is against the world, solitude is not against the world. Solitude is something great, solitariness is something very ordinary, mundane.

Entering the deep mountains
I live in quiet solitude.
The hills are high, the valleys deep
When one lives beneath an old pine tree.

Chuang Tzu says: Everything has its that, everything has its this. That comes out of this, and this depends on that - which is to say that this and that give birth to each other. But where there is birth, there must be death. The sage’s this is also that, his that is also this. A state in which this and that no longer find their opposites is called “the hinge of the Way.”
Where this and that become one, where this world and that world become one, where matter and mind become one, that is called “the hinge of the Way.”

Yoka says: From the time I recognized the road.. This is the road he is talking about. The moment you recognize that all is one; death and life, this and that - all is one:

I realized I had nothing to do with birth and death.