Monday, December 16, 2019

you bind yourself though you use no rope

What is the master [within you] who at this very moment is seeing and hearing?
 If you reply, as most do, that it is Mind or Nature or Buddha
 or one's Face before birth or one's Original Home or Koan or Being
 or Nothingness or Emptiness or Form-and-Color or the Known
 or the Unknown or Truth or Delusion, or say something
 or remain silent, or regard it as Enlightenment or Ignorance,
 you fall into error at once. What is more, if you are so foolhardy
 as to doubt the reality of this master, you bind yourself though you use no rope.

 However much you try to know it through logical reasoning or to name
 or call it, you are doomed to failure. And even though all of you becomes
 one mass of questioning as you turn inward and intently search
 the very core of your being, you will find nothing that can be termed
 Mind or Essence. Yet should someone call your name, something from 
within will hear and respond. Find out this instant who it is!

If you push forward with your last ounce of strength at the very point

 where the path of your thinking has been blocked, and then, 
completely stymied, leap with hands high in the air into the tremendous abyss
 of fire confronting you -- into the ever-burning flame of your own
 primordial nature -- all ego-consciousness, all delusive feelings
 and thoughts and perceptions will perish with your ego-root 
and the true source of your Self-nature will appear. You will feel resurrected,
 all sickness having completely vanished,
 and will experience genuine peace and joy.


a Rinzai Zen Master born in modern-day Kanagawa Prefecture who had trained with Sōtō, Rinzai and Ch'an masters of his time. Bassui was unhappy with the state of Zen practice in Japan during his time, so he set out in life with the mission of revitalizing it. The problems he saw were really two sides of the same coin. That is, he saw both too much attachment by some monks and masters to ritual and dogma as well as too much attachment by some monks and masters to freedom and informality.