Zen

Rinzai 93

The Buddhas and patriarchs are men who have nothing further to seek. So that whether the heart moves or does not move, and whether consequently there is action or not, all are pure deeds.

Commentary:

‘The Buddhas and patriarchs are men who have nothing further to seek’ means that enlightenment is no other than to realise that there is nothing to chase after, or avoid, since everything is empty and there is nothing to gain or lose. That is why ancient masters said, “Enlightenment is not enlightenment if you think that you attained it.”

‘Whether the heart moves or does not move, and whether consequently there is action or not, all are pure deeds’ means that when we are enlightened, our deeds are free from Karma, whatever discrimination we may make, that is, whatever we may think or speak, or whatever we may do, because we know that they are all empty.

The Buddhas and patriarchs are not different from or superior to us sentient beings in essence and we are no less than them at all once we have realised that there is nothing to seek by seeing everything as empty.

©Boo Ahm

All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway

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