The wisest of men when asked “at what time it is best to pursue the Way,” will answer when a thousand stars have made their presence known. The wisest student will say “when cleaning myself by bathing in the mud.” This will become clear when the frog consumes the dragon.
A reflection on Case 38 of the Shobogenzo (True Dharma Eye)
She only wants to know
what lies deep within silence.
He says he imagines it
is a place he can never visit
locked away from humans,
whose minds deny the quiet.
She says she is willing
to continue the search,
for even if she cannot find it,
she may find something like it,
and that respite would
be sufficient for her.
He says he fears silence,
for the loss of all
of his delusions would be
far too much for him to bear.
The hardest thing, he said to his teacher, both sitting on their mats, is not not thinking, but what to do when the thoughts come anyway. I can’t seem to get rid of them no matter how hard I try.” “Do not try to do anything,” the Sensei said, “for anything you do introduces another thought, and soon enough you have an onion of thoughts to peel, layer by layer. When a thought comes, look at it with the mind’s eye, say, with the mind’s voice, look a thought, and do nothing more, and before you know it the thought will be gone and the next in line will enter your mind.”
You may seek to follow the path of the dove, for a fool knows many roads. You may wrap yourself in fine linen, an infant wears only his skin and knows this moment is already gone.
Think long before you speak of how to walk along the path, of where it leads. The baby says nothing, will not speak of where he has been, where he is going, for to him there is only here, and silence is descriptive enough.