This turning in is called the great matter. “Wearing this robe, to fail to understand the great matter….” Science is only trying to understand matter – what about the great matter? What about the scientist himself? Albert Einstein may have discovered great things about matter, but what about himself? He knows nothing at all. He has never even thought that there is another universe waiting for you, to be explored – and that is the real universe. The outer will be lost with your death, but the inner will continue. The inner is your ultimate pilgrimage. Hence it is right to call it the great matter – the great and ultimate concern.
This is the most painful thing, according to Tozan: that your paradise is so close and yet you go on missing it. Your buddhahood is just a question of opening your eyes. Becoming a little more alert than you are, a little more conscious, and you have entered into the timeless reality of existence. Its splendor is great – it has no beginning and no end.
This is the most painful part for anyone who has realized his own self – he can see millions of people in suffering. What is there in the world except suffering, except misery, except pain? Every pleasure turns into pain and all your joy is so superficial – not even skin deep. It can be disturbed with a single word uttered against you – that is the depth of your joy.
What are your riches? They will all be taken away. What are your possessions? You have come into the world naked, and naked you have to go out of this world. And if you don’t search for who has come and gone, and become involved in the non-essentials of life – this is the greatest pain possible. To live and yet to miss the source of life; to live only superficially, never going into the depths of your being and never going to the heights of your consciousness; just remaining mundane – this is the most painful thing according to the Eastern approach. And I absolutely agree with it.
Addressing his monks, Doyo said, “You are already within this tradition. A hundred percent is not far from ninety percent.”
You are already a buddha – just ninety percent – and a hundred percent is not far away. And remember one thing – that even ninety-nine percent will not be close enough. Even ninety-nine-point-nine percent will still be distant. You have to be a hundred percent here and now at the very center of your being, and suddenly arises within you a new, fresh, eternal consciousness that knows nothing of pain, nothing of death; that knows no beginning and no end. Your potential has blossomed into a lotus.
You must have seen Gautam Buddha’s statues: he is sitting on a lotus. That lotus is symbolic of the blossoming of consciousness to its ultimate possibility and potentiality.
“A hundred percent is not far from ninety percent. You should exert a little more energy. Then you elders will not tire of your perpetual journey and yet will not turn away from the monastery.”