Gyozan said to Sekishitsu, “Tell me what to believe in and what to rely on?”
Sekishitsu gestured across the sky above, three times with his hand, and said, “There is no such thing.”
Gyozan asked, “What do you say about reading sutras?”
Sekishitsu replied, “All the sutras are out of the question. Doing things that are given by others is dualism of mind and matter. And if you are in the dualism of subject and object, various views arise. But this is blind wisdom, so it is not yet the Tao.
“If others don’t give you anything, there is not a single thing. That’s why Bodhidharma said, ‘Originally, there is not a single thing.’
“You see, when a baby comes out of the womb, does he read sutras or not? At that time, the baby doesn’t know whether such a thing as buddha nature exists or not. As he grows up and learns various views, he appears to the world and says, ‘I do well and I understand.’ But he doesn’t know it is rubbish and delusion.
“Of the sixteen ways or phases of doing, a baby’s way is the best. The time of a baby’s gurgle is compared to a seeker when he leaves the mind of dividing and choosing. That’s why a baby is praised. But if you take this comparison and say, ‘The baby is the way,’ people of the present days will understand it wrongly.”
First, the questions from the sannyasins.
The first question:
I heard you say that the center of our buddhahood is at the hara point inside the body. Is there also a sleeping buddha energy in our hearts and in the third eye? Do we all have the same potential of remembering, each one with his or her unique expression of creativity?
The hara center is the source of all your energy. It can grow just like a tree grows from the roots into different branches.
According to a different calculation of Patanjali, the energy can be divided into seven centers, but the original source remains the hara. From the hara it can go up.
The seventh center is in the head, and the sixth center is what you call the third eye. The fifth center is in our throat, and the fourth center is exactly in the middle: the heart. Below the heart there are three centers, above the heart there are three centers. But all these seven centers grow like a tree from the original source of the hara. That’s why, in Japanese, suicide is called hara-kiri. People don’t cut their throats, they don’t cut their heads. They simply pierce a small knife into the hara center – just exactly two inches below the navel – and the person dies. And you will not know at all that somebody has committed suicide. Just the energy is released from the body, the source is opened.
I am trying to take you to the very original source. From there, it is up to you to bring your energy into any center you want.
Between the first center, the hara, and the seventh center in the head, the energy can move just like the energy moves into different branches of a tree – from the roots to the uppermost flowering. The hara is the source. When it blossoms, it reaches suddenly to the seventh center, piercing your heart, your throat, and at the seventh center it blossoms as a lotus. Man is also a flowering tree.
These are different ways of looking at things. Patanjali’s yoga is one of the ways; Zen is a totally different approach. To me, Zen seems to be more scientific, while Patanjali seems to be more intellectual and philosophical. Zen begins from the very source.