Now that you have taken up this affair, you must steadfastly make yourself thoroughgoing, and sit upright in a room with what you’ve truly experienced and awakened to in the course of your life. It’s like crossing a bridge made of a single plank carrying a two-hundred-pound burden: if your hands and feet slip, you can’t even preserve your own life, much less save others. When monks came seeking the path, Mu Chou would say, “An obvious case: I forgive you thirty blows.”
Wu Ye of Fen Yang told questioners, “No false thinking!” whenever Lu Tsu saw a monk enter the gate, he would immediately turn around and sit facing the wall.
The problem with every awakened soul has always been the same: before awakening it is the very fact of awakening that is his problem. After awakening, it is again the awakening that comes as a problem – how to express it?
To experience something is one thing, and to express it is totally another. It is possible to feel at ease with existence, in a deep suchness, but how to say it? It is possible to listen to this beautiful evening, the dance of the rain and the silent joy of the trees, but how to say it?
Words are so poor, and life is so rich. Life is so vast and words are so small. Just feel this very moment, and you will be able to see its immensity, its tremendous beauty, its splendor, its silence, its song. The heart feels it. The being is showered with flowers. The whole universe is so poetic. It is always poetry, it is never prose. If you just have eyes and sensitivity, life is always a rejoicing. And the deepest source of life is within you.
The whole effort of a seeker is to be awake to the source of being within – which is eternal, immeasurable, immortal. But then the problem arises…a deep urge, an irresistible longing to share it. All the masters, all those who have become awakened, have struggled hard in different ways, rational, irrational. They have even taken recourse to absurdities, just to give you a hint.
Ta Hui is facing the same situation. He has arrived home, and now he wants to invite all those who are still wandering in the darkness. He wants to send the invitation, but where are the words? He is trying his hardest. This morning he gave you two words. One was the great affair of suchness – experiencing life as it is without bringing your mind in – and the second word was faith. Faith is a natural outcome of the experience of suchness. It certainly is a great affair.
Now he will be trying in these last sutras, for a few days more, from different angles, to approach this great affair again and again. One never knows what will penetrate to your heart. There is not much to say, but there is much to show. Every effort has been made, certainly, by different teachers in their uniqueness. Ta Hui will be describing other masters too.