If you would free yourself of the sufferings of the Six Realms, you must learn the direct way to become a buddha. This way is no other than the realization of your own Mind.
Now, what is this Mind? It is the true nature of all sentient beings, that which existed before our parents were born and hence before our own birth, and which presently exists, unchangeable and eternal. So it is called one’s original face.
This Mind is intrinsically pure. When we are born it is not newly created, and when we die it does not perish. It has no distinction of male or female, nor has it any coloration of good or bad. It cannot be compared with anything, so it is called buddha-nature. Yet countless thoughts issue from this self-nature as waves arise in the ocean or as images are reflected in a mirror.
If you want to realize your own Mind, you must first of all look into the source from which thoughts flow. Sleeping and working, standing and sitting, profoundly ask yourself, “What is my own Mind?” with an intense yearning to resolve this question. This is called “training” or “practice” or “desire for truth” or “thirst for realization.” What is termed “zazen” is no more than looking into one’s own Mind.
Because searching one’s own Mind leads ultimately to enlightenment, this practice is a prerequisite to becoming a buddha.
Anando, it is a great moment of rejoicing that finally Basui has come home.
Old habits die hard. He is now a master, but here and there, a few pieces from before, from when he was just a teacher, are still present. Now they can be avoided, or they can be given the right direction. But the man has arrived. He has started speaking out of his own experience. He is no longer a parrot.
To be a parrot is so easy, just to repeat somebody else, to be an echo. But to be a master needs a steel spine – to be oneself and to be utterly aware so that nothing enters and pollutes your purity. The master is perhaps the most miraculous, the most magical phenomenon in existence.
He knows and he cannot say he knows. He is and he goes on saying that he has disappeared. He discovers the buddha in himself, perfect – but he has to say that he has become a buddha. But nobody becomes a buddha. It is not some kind of graduation, education, discipline or practice. But the difficulty of the master is that he has to use words that you can understand.
But now I can see and I will tell you where the points are which make me certain about Basui. Although he has been long away, falling and rising, moving on this way or that way – his night has been long and dark – finally he has reached to the sunrise. It is light all over.
The moment you are enlightened, the whole existence is enlightened. And even if old habits are there, your new experience will express itself from nooks and corners of your old habits. It is just like a house which is dark and suddenly you bring a light inside. The walls may hide that the house has light now, but the windows, even the closed windows will show that that light has arrived. The house is no longer dark.
The situation is similar in the case of a teacher. An innocent man moves very easily into masterhood, because for him to be a disciple is a very simple and spontaneous act of love. But for the scholar it is difficult, and the more profound his scholarship is, the harder it is for him to even think that anybody else can know more than he knows – and he knows nothing. All that he considers knowledge is just crammed by the memory. Somebody else may have experienced it, but he is just a repetition. He is not the original man. I was hoping that some day Basui would say something that would reveal his splendor and his glory.
If you would free yourself of the sufferings of the six realms, you must learn the direct way to become a buddha.