Rinzai 71

Just enter the birthless Dharma realm and play about in it; enter the world of the Lotus Treasury; everywhere, all things are without form, and are not real things. There is only the Independent Man of the Way who is now listening to the Dharma. He is the mother of all the Buddhas. Therefore the Buddha is born from the Independent Man of the Way. If you truly understand this independent Man of the Way, then you know that the Buddha is not something to be attained! One who can see it like this is a man of genuine insight.



The birthless Dharma realm’ and ‘the world of the Lotus Treasury’ are different expressions of the Pure Land, and so to enter it means to attain enlightenment. Once you enter it, that is, you are enlightened, there is nothing but the true-Self, Emptiness. ‘All things are without form, and are not real things’ means that when you see everything as empty, all things are not things but Emptiness. This is why Rinzai said that there is only ‘the Independent Man of the Way’ which is a personified expression of the true-Self, Emptiness. ‘He is the mother of all the Buddhas’ implies that all things, including all the Buddhas and Maras, are just the functions of the true-Self. So, if you truly understand, realise this Independent Man of the Way, you don’t have to try to attain the Buddha because you will find yourself being the Man of Way. That’s why ancient masters would say that the Buddha and Maitreya are his servants.


Student: “What is the Independent Man of the Way?”

Master: “You and I are from Him.”

Student: “Where is He?”

Master: “He is amongst the grasses.”


©Boo Ahm

All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway

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

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