No scriptures can give you the experience of your being. They are really the hindrances – your life spring is covered by those layers of prejudices and conceptions. Unless you throw them away, whether it is the Bible or Shrimad Bhagavadgita or the holy Koran or Dhammapada…it does not matter what it is. Whatever is covering your life spring, throw it away without a single moment of hesitation. Because all that is borrowed is just dust, layers and layers of dust, and you are covered with that dust.
All the holy ones have turned within and sought in the self, and by this, went beyond all doubt.
He is saying, “It is not only me, but all the buddhas have done the same. They have all burned the whole contents of the mind and cleared the space so that the life springs can flow directly and you can know for the first time your own eternity, your own splendor.”
It is a paradox to say it, but it is a fact that all your religious teaching is a barrier to your becoming religious. To know anything about God from others is dangerous. It will prevent you from knowing existence directly, and you will settle for cheap knowledge.
Zen’s whole revolution is: don’t settle for cheap knowledge; go for the costly experience. And anything that hinders the way, throw it out. Gautam Buddha has even said, “If I come into your meditations, cut off my head immediately! Nobody is to be allowed to hinder your progress.” These were real lions. Humanity can be proud of these people who did not desire to enslave you, as Catholics, as Hindus, as Mohammedans; whose whole effort was to liberate you from all “isms,” from all churches, and to help you penetrate your own reality. That is the only truth, the only space which is holy.
To turn within means all the twenty-four hours, and in every situation, to pierce, one by one, through the layers covering the self, deeper and deeper, to a place which cannot be described. It is when thinking comes to an end and making distinctions ceases, when wrong views and ideas disappear of themselves without having to be driven forth; when, without being sought, the true action and true impulse appear of themselves. It is when one can know what is the truth of the heart.
In these few statements he has covered the whole journey from falsehood to truth, from darkness to light, from death to immortality. What he has said can be condensed, so that you can remember it not as knowledge but only as a finger indicating the moon – just a few hints for your own inner journey.
The first thing is, twenty-four hours a day, to remember what you find in your meditations. You will forget again and again, but the gaps of forgetfulness will become less and the length of remembering will become longer. By and by the gaps of forgetting will disappear. There comes a time when you are a whole circle of remembrance, twenty-four hours. Even in your sleep you know you are a buddha.
A small story will explain it to you….