“It may be asked, how is the self to be approached? By looking into it through this sort of inquiry: forty years ago, where did it come from; and a hundred years hence, where will it have gone to? And right now, who is the person who is making the inquiry? That true face which was before father and mother were born, where is it right now? When suddenly one day the light of life, now so brilliant, will be withdrawn, where does it go to?”
“In this sort of way,” continued Bukko, “look into the self. Look when you sleep, look when you sit, look when you walk. When you find you cannot look anymore, then you must look and see how that inability to look appears and disappears. As you are looking at how the sight comes and the sight goes, satori realization will arise of itself.”
On another occasion, Bukko said: “The dharma is different from seeing, hearing, perceiving, knowing – seeing, hearing, perceiving, knowing are all dharma.
This mountain priest makes a home for the people of the wide earth. Without the dust being raised, they enter the realm of paradise.”
Lifting high his staff, Bukko said: “Om, Om, Om! Haste, haste, haste! Quick, quick, quick! Bow, bow, bow!
Throwing high, not reaching the sky; laying down, not reaching the earth. All the buddhas and patriarchs find no hold at all. Hold, no hold. Om! – divine streams rushing, rushing!”
Maneesha, all the religions of the world are concerned with something objective, a God who is somewhere above the clouds, a heaven, a hell. But they are all outside of you, they are all objective. Zen’s basic difference from all religions is, its inquiry is absolutely subjective. It does not bother about whether there is a God or not, whether there is a heaven and a hell or not. These are all fictitious questions, and all the answers given for or against are going to be fictitious.
To the Zen seeker, the only reality is inwards. He does not deny the outside reality, but he does not concern himself with it. That is the work of science, to inquire into the objective reality. The authentic religions should be confined to the inquiry into the subjectivity of your consciousness: from where arises your life, your love, your dance; from where this whole existence arises, and to where you disappear.
Now we know even existence does not allow anything to be stable; even the greatest stars, which may have lived millions of years or trillions of years, one day have to die. Every day great stars die, and every day new stars are born – but from where? What is the source of all life? Whether it exists in the poor grass leaves or in the richest and greatest star, it does not matter, the source of life is the same.
And the only right inquiry is to go withinwards, to find your roots, to find your center, to go deep into your center as much as possible. Finally you will be surprised to know that as you go deeper you start disappearing. A moment comes when you disappear and the whole universe opens all its mysteries.