Rinzai 154

Venerable ones, what are you chasing around after to the extent that the soles of your feet become callused as hard as a wooden board? There is no Buddha to seek, no Way to accomplish, no Dharma to be obtained. If you seek the Buddha with form from outside, he will not be like the true Buddha. Do you want to know your original heart? It is neither with nor separated from you. Followers of the Way, the true Buddha has no shape, the true Way has no foundation, the true Dharma has no form. These three blend together and harmonise into one. Who does not yet discern this is called a sentient being confused by Karma.


If you have an image of the Buddha and seek the Buddha in accordance with it, your effort is in vain because the true Buddha, being formless, is not like the Buddha you are seeking. Your mind that is not confined to your physical body, but boundless enough to leave room while holding the whole universe, is no other than the Buddha. In other words, there is nothing that is not the Buddha, and you are part of the Buddha. This is why it is neither with you nor separated from you. In fact, the Buddha, the Way and the Dharma are just different names of the true-Self and not separate from one another. So, the Avatamsaka Sutra says that the Buddha appears all around the universe in various different shapes of all sentient beings and sounds like various words of all sentient beings and has various names of all sentient beings. And in the same Sutra a Bodhisattva says, “If I want to see the Buddha, I can see Him any time. However, he never comes to me nor do I go to Him.” This implies that seeking the Buddha, whilst forsaking what you see and hear now, is making fruitless effort.

Student: “Why can’t I see the Buddha while everything is the Buddha?”

Master: “Because you see things.”

©Boo Ahm

All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway

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

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