Question: I have heard that all buddhas in the past, present and future preached the same dharma and countless beings were saved from suffering. Is this not true?
Answer: You have heard someone speak of dreams, and you yourself are actually dreaming. Whatever you figure with your dualistic mind never makes a true account of mind essence, therefore, I call you a dreamer. Dream is one thing and realization another. Do not mix them together. Wisdom in the dream is not the real wisdom. One who has true wisdom does not hold self-recognition. Buddhas in the past, present and future are in the realm beyond cognition. If you shut off your thinking faculty, blocking off the road of your mind, you will enter a different sphere. Until that time, whatever you think, whatever you say, whatever you do is nothing but foolishness in dreamland.
Question: What kind of wisdom should one use to cut off delusions?
Answer: When you observe your delusions, you will know that they are baseless and not dependable. In this way you can cut confusion and doubt. This is what I call wisdom.
Question: What sort of delusions will be cleared by Zen?
Answer: Any delusions of mediocrity, of a philosopher, of a shravaka, of a pratyeka-buddha, or of a bodhisattva.
Question: What is the difference between a sage’s most excellent life and the common people’s everyday life?
Answer: It is like gossamer. Some mistake it for vapor, but it is in fact a spider’s silk that floats in the air. A mediocre person sees the sage’s life, and believes it to be the same as his own everyday life; whereas the enlightened man sees the holy path in a life of mediocrity. If you will observe in the sutras that all buddhas preach for two groups, the mediocre and the wise, but in the eyes of Zen, a sage’s life is one of mediocrity and the mediocre person’s as the sage’s. This one life has no form and is empty by nature. If you become attached to any form, you should reject it. If you see an ego, a soul, a birth or a death, reject them all.
Question: Why and how do we reject them?
Answer: If you have Zen, you should not see a thing. “The most firmly established in the path appears the most remiss.”
The path to reality is full of paradoxes, hence the logical mind cannot comprehend it. Logic is incapable of understanding a paradox. Logic tries to dissolve all paradoxes, to make things straight, clear. But paradox is intrinsic to nature. Nature exists through contradictions. Contradictions are not really contradictions but complementaries.