In my dreams last night I thought I came across the Buddha while off wandering somewhere I could not recognize. I thought long and hard about following Linji’s proscription and killing the Buddha, but while lost in contemplation the Buddha took up his keisaku, said “if you cannot follow the simplest of directions, if you are so lost in thought you can never attain buddhahood” and with one significant blow instantly killed my dream and allowed me to finally see.
If you truly want to walk in the footsteps of the Buddha stand perfectly still and unmoving. If you truly want to comprehend the whole of the Dharma put down all of your books and scrolls, roll up your sleeves and plant the barren fields, clearing away rocks and stones. If you want to taste enlightenment dip your hands into a free running stream and drink of its waters. If you feel you must move along the Way, simply sit and allow the Way to move beneath you.
A reflection on Case 12 of The Book of Equanimity (SHôYôROKU)
If you meet the Bodhisattva, you don’t ask someone to carve the image from your mind. To the carver, she weighs but an ounce and can be carried on his fingertip but try to lift her and you will not be able to move her from her place.
All Buddhas are one Buddha but his Buddha will never be your Buddha.
A reflection on case 58 of the Iron Flute (Tetteki Tosui)
Walking on the road today, I didn’t see the Buddha and thus had no need to kill him. I did find what I thought to be a dog’s Buddha nature, but it proved to be nothing- ness, so I walked on through the gate that led exactly nowhere. This evening it rained and I picked up each drop and when I had the last, threw them into the sky.
The hardest thing is knowing that this precise moment, this precise place is the tipping point, and things could go either way from here, although the Buddha would suggest that there are ten directions in which everything always can go. You cannot pause and reflect on this, for this precise moment, this precise place is also a tipping point, as is this one and this one, ad infinitum, ad nauseam. But if you don’t know this, then just perhaps, all ten directions are open to you.