Chapter 3: The Greatest Sermon in the History of Zen
“Please give us a sermon.” This time, he quite readily agreed to do so.
After a while all the monks gathered together in the hall. The master quietly appeared before them, walked up to the pulpit, spread out both his hands, and, without a word, immediately returned to his room.
This is known in the history of Zen as the greatest sermon. It is, because he said nothing and yet he said everything. Those two hands spread like a bird’s wings opened the whole sky to the silent disciples, a transmission without words.
We have become too much accustomed to words. We don’t know the beauty of wordlessness. Even if you see a beautiful rose, immediately your mind repeats, “How beautiful,” and you have missed. If you had simply seen the rose and absorbed its beauty, felt it in your heart without uttering even a simple word - even in appreciation - you would have become enlightened.
Just, even a rose could have functioned as a great master to you.
The question is not that you don’t know, the question is, you are too full of gibberish, you know too much. Because of your borrowed knowledge and too many words moving inside you, you cannot see the wordless beauty that can be only experienced in silence.
Just listen to the bamboos, and you will find what Hyakujo has said without saying it.
Zen is not an intellectual effort to understand reality, it is an intuitive approach to drown in the mystery of existence, to open your wings and fly like an eagle across the sun.
Language is a very small phenomenon, limited to humanity. The stars don’t speak, nor the flowers, but they still express, they transmit their very being without any language. Zen is just a wildflower, spreading its fragrance to whomsoever it may concern. Those who have the sensitivity will understand it.
Nothing is being said and everything is understood. Just drown yourself into thisness, the tremendous silence of the moment, and you will feel freedom from the mind. And that is the only freedom, the first and the last freedom - freedom from the mind.
It is your own mind that is covering your like a cage. Once the mind is left behind and you are just a watcher, far away, suddenly the doors of all the mysteries open.
Zen does not talk about God, it gives you God; it does not talk about paradise, it pushes you into paradise.
The second story Maneesha has brought.