Rinzai 79

The master addressed his monks, “What students of the Way need is to have self-reliance. Do not search for anything outside, for all is idle dust, and you cannot discern the false from the true. Even if there are patriarchs and Buddhas, these are only the traces in the Teachings.”


Students of the way, practitioners who seek enlightenment should have firm belief that enlightenment is within, not without their minds. If we try to find it outside, we come to follow forms and sounds, which are all illusions because we cannot distinguish the false, illusions from the true, the true-Self. We should not be attached even to patriarchs and Buddhas, which is also to be deluded by illusions because they are no better than kinds of expedient in the Buddhist Teachings. That is why ancient masters would warn their students, “Even if hundreds of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas appear, you should never be tempted to follow them.”

Student: “If hundreds of Buddhas are not the true-Self, what is the true-Self?”

Master: “The Buddha.”

Student: “What do you mean? You said that the Buddha is not the true-Self.”

Master: “I mean that not the Buddha, but the Buddha is the true-Self.”

©Boo Ahm

All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway

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

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