Looking into a person’s eyes, you can discover his whole personality, his whole psychology, his whole mind and the mask. The eyes reflect not only the outside world, they also reflect your inner world: how deep you are, whether you are just a surface – a thin layer of water that reflects – or an ocean.
When Baso became himself the master, and succeeded his own master Nangaku, before initiating any disciple he used to look into their eyes. He would bring the disciple closer and look into his eyes. And Baso looking into your eyes is almost as if you are in the hands of a lion. Just by his look…the penetration of his vision was as sharp as a razor blade. He made a few people enlightened, just by looking into their eyes.. Their minds disappeared: they could not confront the eyes of the master Baso. Baso is a very rare master.
The monk asked, “What is the meaning of the ancients?”
Enkei said, “The lantern is the mind.”
When you are seeing the lantern, if you are not wavering within, in a very miraculous way, the reflection and the reflected become one; the observed and the observer become one; the loved and the lover become one.
In such small statements is hidden so much that on each statement a great philosophy can be based.
In another incident, the master Hogen,
pointed to some bamboos, and said to a monk,
“Do you see them?”
“I see them,” replied the monk.
…not understanding that when a master asks you, “Do you see it?” he does not mean your ordinary eyes. A master’s finger is always pointing to the inner, not to the outer. But the poor monk thought that the master is asking whether he can see the bamboos. “Yes, I see them,” replied the monk.
“Do they come to the eye,
or does the eye go to them?”
How do you manage to see? Somebody has to go: either your eyes go to the bamboos, or the bamboos come to your eyes. Which way does it happen?
“I have no idea at all,” said the monk…
Feeling utterly defeated, not knowing what to say – because the fact is, no one goes, no one comes; the eyes are in their place and the bamboos are in their place. There is no going and there is no coming. Do you think when the full moon is reflected in the silent lake, the lake goes to the moon, or the moon comes to the lake? The moon remains in its place, the lake remains in its place, but its silence, its mirrorlike surface reflects.