Rinzai 158

Venerable ones, I cannot these days cease from using a lot of words, and come out preaching many inept things due to unavoidable circumstances, but do not let yourselves be deceived! As I see it, there are not really this many principles. If you want to use it, just use it; and if you do not want to use it, then rest. It is said that the Six Paramitas and the Ten Thousand Practices are the Buddha-Dharma. I say they are but methods for spiritual adornment and for building the Buddha’s work; they are not the Buddha-Dharma. And furthermore, observing the rules of Buddhist ceremony strictly and conducting them carefully enough to carry a bowl full of oil without spilling a drop, you cannot help but fall into debt if you don’t make the eye clear. The day will come when you must repay your debt.


Rinzai means that he knows the true-Self is unexplainable with words, but that he uses a lot of words as expedients for the sake of convenience. We should see what he points to without being deluded by his words. The true-Self you are looking for is everywhere and so you should be free to use it anytime if you want to. However, whatever great things such as the Six Paramitas and the Ten Thousand Practices you may do and no matter how strictly you may observe the rules of Buddhist ceremony, they have nothing to do with attaining enlightenment. They rather become your karma, causation, and you will be doomed to repay it someday. 

©Boo Ahm

All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway

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

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