Rinzai 151

Venerable ones, outwardly speaking by making sound and inwardly trying to work out by thinking and expressing what is in mind are no other than robes. If you take these robes as true teachings, you, even if spending innumerable Kalpas, will only see these robes and transmigrate between birth and death, circulating the Three Worlds. This is not as good as not recognising though meeting and not knowing any name whilst talking together.


Robes imply various illusions. We should not be deluded by the illusions of ourselves created by speaking and thinking. Whether we read the Sutras, meet a great master, or listen to a Dharma talk, if we mistake their robes for true teaching, the chances of our attaining enlightenment are slim to none no matter long we may try. In order to cease being deceived by illusions, you had better pretend not to recognise what you see and hear instead of being deluded by names and forms. This is because you are more likely to try to realise the true-Self when you admit that you don’t know.

Student: “How can I not recognise what I see and hear?”

Master: “See and hear everything without attaching any labels.”

©Boo Ahm

All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway

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

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