Friday, May 9, 2014

Be Empty Like Bamboo

-Sensei, I'm confused about what you teach and about what "Zen" is. Can you explain in just a few simple words?

-I teach spontaneous clear original being free of difficulties. However, if you hear me say this but cannot see it for yourself instantly, or feel like protesting, "But I suffer!" or "It's all so confusing!" I go further and show you some ways to dissolve the confusion and experience it directly for yourself. One example of such a "way" is to "sit quietly in empty fusion." Just let everything go and drift in this floating world. Amida, the Buddha of Infinite Light, takes care of all the brilliance, so you can be dull. If you practice this every day, eventually you'll reach the stage where you can pick up a bowl of green tea and look at and taste it with the most bemused subtle amazement. "Here it be!" Then everything you do will be like the tea ceremony, and you will emanate shibumi. Another is to "turn the light of your awareness back on itself" and look intensely to see what's there where it's darkest and most obscure, until you have a sudden lightning like "Aha!" and your body streams with cold sweat and you "know It directly for yourself, like one who drinks water and knows instantly whether it is hot or cold." This is usually called kensho. Another way is to "drop mind into the Tanden." Do it quickly and all at once, and you will suddenly gain the miraculous power to see "spontaneous clear original being free of difficulties," and you will become a true Taoist sage. Naturally, the superior Way is just not to be confused, to see everything as it is, to take what's before you with quiet joy. Then you don't react to anything that happens, you just emit the universal energy, which is the Tao itself. You've got to transcend thinking and cognition. Then the "thinking-self" vanishes completely. Be empty, like bamboo. Rest in the vastness!

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