But students nowadays do not succeed because they suffer from lack of self-reliance. Because of this lack, you run busily hither and thither, are driven around by circumstance and kept whirling by the ten thousand things. You cannot find deliverance thus.
But if you can stop your heart from its ceaseless running after something by being deluded by each illusion, you will not be different from the Buddha and patriarchs.
Self-reliance means the belief that you are the true-Self itself. ‘Being driven around by circumstance and kept whirling by the ten thousand things’ means to be deluded by what you see and hear, that is, illusions. ‘Run busily hither and thither’ means both wandering around in the hope of getting enlightenment from someone else and following words. ‘Stop your heart from its ceaseless running after something’ means to stop discriminating, following words, or being deluded by illusions. In other words, running after something is as vain as exhausting ourselves by chasing shadows, which drives us away from our goal, enlightenment. So, if we stop being deluded by illusions and running here and there after something, we are not different from the Buddha and patriarchs because we can realise that we are the true-Self when we are not deluded by illusions.
To attain enlightenment doesn’t mean to find something hidden somewhere else, or to get something we don’t have from someone else. We should know that Buddha and all the Patriarchs didn’t try to give us something new which we don’t have but tried to find us what we have lost whilst having it in our hands. In other words, their job was not to bestow something valuable such as genuine insight upon sentient beings but to get sentient beings to realise that they are already equipped with it. They never tried to give us something but rather tried to rid us of illusions because genuine insight reveals itself only if we are not deluded by illusions. That’s why masters are often called thieves.
All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway
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