You are just keeping your eyes closed, so when you open your eyes and you see your buddhahood, you cannot say you have attained it. It was already there before you had even seen it. It is not your ‘attainment’, and the opening of your eyes is not a cause.
Whether you open your eyes or not, your buddhahood is intact. Even with closed eyes you are buddhas; with open eyes there will be no change – you will be buddhas. The only change will be in your understanding, not in your quality, not in your being. The only change will be in your understanding: “My God, I have been looking for enlightenment, for buddhahood, for lives altogether, searching and seeking everywhere and doing every kind of good act, observing precepts, making offerings, doing prayers, reciting sutras – and that was all foolish, because while I was reciting sutras I was a buddha. When I was offering flowers to a stone statue I was doing such an idiotic act because I was making a buddha touch the feet of a stone statue. I have always been the buddha; that is my unconditional nature.”
That’s why Bodhidharma’s statement is of tremendous significance when he says, “No, you cannot find buddhahood by all these so-called things which religions go on preaching to people.”
To attain enlightenment you have to see your nature.
And it is just language and the difficulty of language that one has to call it attainment; otherwise what attainment is there? It is really only a discovery. The treasure is there, you simply uncover it.
You are not producing it, you are not creating it, it is not something new; it has always and always been there. And whether you discover it or not makes no difference to it. It is unconditionally eternal.
Unless you see your nature, all this talk about cause and effect is nonsense.
I can say that these harsh words can only come from Bodhidharma, not from any disciple who cannot have that much courage. Only a Bodhidharma can say:
Buddhas don’t practice nonsense.
It is a lion’s roar. It is a lion’s roar, not an ordinary disciple’s writing.
A buddha is free of karma, free of cause and effect. To say he attains anything at all is to slander a buddha.
There is no question of attainment, he only discovers. He only opens his eyes and sees himself.