Rinzai 91

You say that everywhere there is training and there is realisation. Do not be deceived. Although something (realisation) can be attained by training, it only creates the Karma of rebirth and death.

You say you train in the Six Perfections and the Ten Thousand Practices. As I see it, they are all productive of Karma.


This part can sound quite confusing since it can cause us to wonder what Buddhism is and why we should practise if there is no enlightenment to be attained by practice. He said these words for the people who are so involved in practice and enlightenment that they are likely to be attached to the forms of them, so that he might prevent people from being deluded by the illusions of practice and enlightenment.

The purpose of practice is to attain enlightenment, which is to see everything as empty. When everything is empty, not only practice but enlightenment is also empty. That is why ancient masters would say, “Once you’ve attained enlightenment, you will realise that all the practice you’ve done was of no use.”

Practising, no matter how hard we may practise, only creates the Karma of birth and death if we, unaware of its emptiness, are attached to the form of practice itself.

©Boo Ahm

All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway

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

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