Upon his Awakening, the historical Buddha, Shakyamuni said, “Wonderful, wonderful, now I realize that all beings are buddha, only their ignorance and attachments prevent them from realizing this fact.” The term Buddha means “one who is awake,” and it is this experience that is the very heart of our Zen practice, in fact all Buddhist practice. So, if
There’s a saying in English “Practice makes perfect”, but in our Zen practice we actually drop ideas of perfection and non-perfection. We practice just to practice, without any gaining idea. I make this point because it’s so easy to get caught up in the emotion of “that was a good sitting” (pat on the back) and “why can’t I concentrate?!!
We’ve probably all heard the expression, “The great way is not difficult, it’s simply a matter of not picking and choosing.” The great Zhaozhou uttered these words, but he was not the first. In Verses on the Faith Mind (Xinxin Ming), the third Chinese ancestor, Sengcan writes, “The Great Way is not difficult for those who have no preferences,” and