Seppo’s Grain Of Rice
Seppo addressed the assembly and said, “All the great world, if I pick it up with my fingertips, is found to be like a grain of rice. I throw it in front of your face, but you do not see it. Beat the drum, telling the monks to come out to work, and search for it.”
The ox-head disappearing, the horse-head appears;
No dust on the mirror of the Patriarch Sokei.
You beat the drum and search for it in vain.
For whom do the spring flowers bloom?
Why is the nature of the mind such that it doesn’t know its own limitations, that it thinks it is indispensable?
And the second question:
The words witnessing and awareness do not seem to appear in Zen very much. Is it that witnessing is the ability to watch the mind running along its track without being identified with it, while Zen jolts the mind off its track into the gap of no-thought?
And the third question:
I often have had the feeling that if I could really hear just one word of yours, really see just one gesture of yours, really fall into one small gap of your silence, I would have understood you at last.
Is that so?
Maneesha, it is questioned by many, why the words awareness, or watchfulness, or witnessing do not appear in the Zen anecdotes. The question is relevant…it does not appear in the words and the anecdotes are written in words. You will have to find it between the words, in the silences that happen between masters and disciples, or one master and another master.
Awareness is not something Zen talks about because Zen is awareness.
Zen has nothing to do with any “about.”
Philosophy can talk about awareness, thinkers can talk about watchfulness, teachers can teach what is witnessing, but Zen is awareness.
You have to get hold of it; it is always there in every anecdote – but not so visible, not so tangible, not available to language. If you are trying to find it you will not find it, because every finding is by the mind.
If you forget all about finding awareness and just be silent, you have found it.
Zen is pure awareness.
But certainly it is not mentioned, because it cannot be mentioned. Zen wants not to talk about it, but to transpire your heart, to aflame you; to bring you to the tune, the harmony, the music…where awareness will not be something of an object – where you will be awareness.