Rinzai 169

Followers of the Way, there is no Buddha to be attained. The Three Vehicles and the Five Natures, as well as the Complete and Sudden Teachings are not really existent. All are but expedient means, temporary remedies for curing diseases. Even if they appear to be existent, they are all but surface manifestations, like printed letters on a sign board to indicate the Way. This is my teaching.


There is no Buddha to attain both because we are the Buddha itself and because there is nothing else but the Buddha. There is no more Buddha to attain or to lose than there is the universe to attain or to lose, because we are the universe itself. ‘The Three Vehicles and the Five Natures as well as the Complete and Sudden Teachings’ are nothing but the explanations of how to recognise the Buddha and descriptions of what the Buddha is like. All words, no matter how plausible they are, are no more than illusionary labels created and used for the sake of convenience, not real. In the same way, all Buddhist teachings are but expedient means that lead us to enlightenment and are just temporary remedies for curing us of the disease of being deluded by illusions. Even if they appear to be existent and real, we should not be deluded by them but see what they point to beyond their appearance.

Student: “How can I see beyond what things appear to be?”

Master: “See me beyond what I appear to be.”

©Boo Ahm

All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway

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

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