He wasn’t sure he wanted it, was fairly certain he did not, and in that moment,was certain he would get it, so he began developing elaborate plans on what to do with it when it arrived. He laid them out in painful detail, each step, each move carefully choreographed. He waited patiently, each minute washing into the next until it was hours, then days, then months. He reassessed his plans for it, fine tuned them daily. He grew older, until one day he could no longer remember what it was, and moments later it arrived, and there it sat unseen and unrecognized.
You are perpetually searching, but what is it you seek? If you say it is wisdom, how will you know it if it finds you? You may look in a thousand mirrors and no mind will be seen in none of them. You are an oyster, where is the pearl?
A reflection on Case 9 of the Shobogenzo, the True Dharma Eye
You may seek to follow the path of the dove – 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 him there is only here, and silence is descriptive enough.
Enter the room slowly and look carefully, since you are here to find something. There is much within this room, but you can see nothing save the old man, sitting calmly, staring at nothing, staring through you at nothing in particular. You know he is the teacher, the one for whom you have been searching, Still, he ignores you, staring at nothing. You walk around the room, from end to end to end to end and he does not move or speak, and so you leave.
He has given a great lesson, do you appreciate what he has taught you? You walk away angrily, say that he is no teacher at all, that you are no closer to enlightenment leaving than when you entered, for you found nothing but yourself. As you leave the old man bows as teachers do to Buddhas.
A reflection on Case 4 of the Hekiganroku (Blue Cliff Record)