Rinzai tried his hardest to forget the old training of his mind, and once in a while he succeeded. There was no difficulty for Bodhidharma. He never knew any scripture, he never knew any philosophy. He was a pure, original man – uncultured, uncultivated, absolutely raw. Zen fits with the original, uncultured, unsophisticated very well, because Zen is a gesture. All philosophies are linguistic.
Zen has a totally different language of the presence of the master, of allowing his experience to filter into your being, of receiving with joy his song of silence, of being blessed when the master is showering all his blessings…like flowers falling on you with invisible mysteries. Zen has to create a totally existential language. Our ordinary language is good enough for theology, for religion, for philosophy, but not for Zen.
I will tell you when he goes into his old habits, and when he remembers to come back to directly pointing to the truth.
“Followers of the Tao…”
Now, this is…from the very beginning he commits a mistake. Not intentionally – he is a great lover of Buddha and Lao Tzu, of Tao and Dhamma. Dhamma is Buddha’s finger pointing to the moon, and Tao is Lao Tzu’s finger pointing to the same moon. Only the fingers differ. That’s why Buddhism never came to clash with Taoism when it reached China.
This is a rare incident in history. Whenever one religion travels there is immediately conflict with the existing religion – naturally, because their concepts differ. This is the only instance in the whole of history where this did not happen, when Buddhism reached China and was welcomed by the Taoists. It is a phenomenal thing, it is absolutely unique and rare.
Do you think Christianity will welcome Hinduism in the same way, or Hinduism will welcome Mohammedanism in the same way, or Mohammedanism will welcome Judaism in the same way? They have all been in conflict, arguing, fighting, killing, burning for fictitious concepts which have no evidence of existence at all. This is the only instance in the whole of history, where the lovers of Tao simply welcomed Bodhidharma. They saw that the finger is different but the moon is the same, and to fight for fingers is absolutely idiotic. They are all pointing to the same moon.
Rinzai commits his first mistake because Tao does not allow any followers. You can love Tao, you can live Tao, but you cannot be a follower – because Tao is not an ordinary religion. It is not a church, it has no organized discipline. It is the path of very unique, eccentric people. You cannot fall into the trap of following because there is nothing to follow – no doctrine, no discipline, no special way to reach to the truth.