This school is an exceedingly deep and subtle teaching; once you have heard it, it becomes an excellent cause for enlightenment for all time.
An ancient said, “Those who hear this, even if they don’t believe, have blessings greater than humans or gods; those who study, even without attainment, eventually reach buddhahood.”
A monk asked Daikaku: “How should I rest my mind; how should I use my mind?”
Daikaku said: The no-mind has no attachment to appearances; detachment from appearances is the character of reality. Among the four modes of conduct – walking, standing, sitting, and lying – sitting is considered to be stable and tranquil. This means sitting straight and contemplating reality.
Sitting straight means sitting cross-legged as the buddhas do. Contemplating reality means sitting meditation. Forming the symbol of absorption in the cosmos, body and mind unmoving, eyes half-open, watching over the tip of the nose, you should see all compounded things as like dreams, illusions, bubbles, shadows. Don’t get caught up in thought about them.
When the eyes are open and you can see for a distance, your mind can be distracted by the profusion of objects; yet if you close your eyes, you fall into a state of darkness and oblivion, and your mind is not clear. When your eyes are half-open, your thoughts don’t race; mind and body are one thusness.
When you examine clearly, the afflictions of birth and death cannot be approached. This is called fulfilling buddhahood right where you are, the meaning of great capacity and great function.
Maneesha, Zen is fundamentally a device for discovering yourself. And there have been many ways to find out about yourself; you can approach from the north, or you can approach from the south. There are a thousand doors, or perhaps no door. The question is how to convert your seeing-energy away from the outside attachment and towards the inner world. There is no object inside, there is only a watcher, an utter silence.
Because for centuries and for many, many births, we are attached to objects in the outside world, it becomes difficult to enter into a space where there is nothing to hold onto, nothing to concentrate upon. One feels afraid. The very earth underneath your feet disappears; you are just hanging in pure space.
This fear has prevented people from even thinking about meditation. To avoid it they get engaged in every kind of thing, just to look busy. If they sit silently, automatically the desire to explore the inner arises. You are carrying a great world and you have not even knocked on the doors of it.
One Sunday morning, as a bishop entered his church in New York, he was very much puzzled, shocked: standing there was a man looking just like Jesus Christ. And to all practical purposes, this was just not possible. He seemed to be a hippie. Jesus lived a hippie life – but how to decide?
He asked the man, “What are you doing here?”
The man said, “You are asking me? I should ask you what you are doing here. I am Jesus Christ!”