Hsin Shin Ming: “32. If you cling to anything, you are subject to losing the true-Self and going the wrong way.”
Enlightenment is to realise that things are to the true-Self as winds are to air. That is to realise that everything including us is not different and separate from the true-Self but one with it just like winds are not different from air but one with it even though there are countless types of wind. If you believe that there is something special other than what you see, hear and feel, and cling to it, that is losing the true-Self and going the wrong way. That is like winds trying to see or become air. The harder they try, the vainer their effort is and the further they are off the mark.
The objects that we, as Zen practitioners, are most likely to cling to are Buddha, the true-Self and enlightenment. In order to warn us of the mistake of clinging to them, ancient masters would advise their students to kill Buddha when they saw him and ignore enlightenment if they encountered it.
Student: “How can I realise the true-Self without clinging to it?”
Master: “Do you know what the true-Self is?”
Student: “No, I don’t. How could I know it when I am not enlightened?”
Master: “Clinging to what you don’t know is a problem, which is to cling to an illusion.”
All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway
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