Once you are utterly empty you are a mirror. You are not only aware of your inner truth, you become aware of the truth of the whole existence. And they are not two. They are two aspects of the same phenomenon, two sides of the same coin – the outer and the inner.
All manner of troubles arise if we abandon existence to obtain emptiness; that too is sickness.
Listen to these tremendously significant words of Yoka. Yoka is one of the great Zen masters. He says:
All manner of troubles arise if we abandon existence to obtain emptiness; that too is sickness. It is like throwing oneself into the fire to escape drowning.
Don’t abandon existence. Don’t abandon the ordinary existence in any effort for some illusory truth, for some illusory longing for God. Leave that for the fools. The intelligent person simply lives moment to moment with no desire to seek anything, with no expectation of finding anything. He simply lives moment to moment, joyously. His life is very ordinary; he has no desire to be extraordinary. He has no desire to be a buddha, hence he is a buddha. He has no desire to be extraordinary, hence he is extraordinary. Because every ordinary person has the desire to be extraordinary; only extraordinary people don’t have that desire.
If we try to grasp truth or if we wish to escape error and illusion, we practice discrimination, an artificial and erroneous attitude.
Once you say, “This is truth and this is untruth,” you have started discriminating – and to discriminate is the disease of the mind. That is the function of the mind: to discriminate. “This is right, that is wrong. This is true, that is false. This is worldly, this is spiritual. This is materialist, this is religious.” Once you start discriminating there is no end to it and you are in the grip of the mind. Drop discriminating and you are out of the grip of the mind. To be out of the grip of the mind is to be free, is to know what freedom is.
Most men forget spirit treasure, they have to recourse to dualist thinking and abandon the true nature of spirit. To pass the barrier of Zen by means of zazen, we should finish with reason, knowledge, illusion. Then we shall attain to supreme wisdom and enter into the place of nirvana.