Rinzai 67

Followers of the Way, if you know that fundamentally there is nothing to seek, you have settled your affairs. But because you have little faith, you run about agitatedly, seeking your head which you think you have lost. You cannot stop yourselves.

Such are the Bodhisattvas of sudden enlightenment who enter the scheme of manifested things, turning to the Pure Land, disliking the worldly and desiring the sacred. They have not yet forgotten either grasping or letting go, and so their hearts contain both taints and purity.


You have settled your affairs’ means that you have realised that everything is empty, that is, you have attained enlightenment. ‘You have little faith’ implies that you are not enlightened. In other worlds, we run about agitatedly in vain pursuit of the true-Self since we have not realised that everything, including ourselves, is empty and that there is nothing at all to seek.

The Bodhisattvas of sudden enlightenment’ here implies those who believe that their doctrinal understanding is enlightenment. They are still deluded by such illusions as ‘grasping’, ‘letting go’, ‘taints’, ‘purity’ and so on because they have not realised that there is nothing to grasp or to let go of, not to mention ‘taints’ and ‘purity’.


Student: “What is the Pure Land?”

Master: “You’ve just tainted it.”


©Boo Ahm

All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway

#zen #meditation #zenmeditation #enlightened #enlightenment #zenfools #photography

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