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Rinzai 69

Followers of the Way, do not be deceived by teachers who everywhere say “I know Zen, I understand the Way,” and who endlessly deliver discussions like mountain torrents. All this is action that produces hellish Karma. If one is a true learner of the Way, one does not search for the faults of the world, but rather speedily applies oneself to attain genuine insight. If one only can see with perfect clarity, then all is completed.

Commentary:

Teachers who everywhere say “I know Zen, I understand the Way”’ symbolises those who, mistaking literal comprehension as enlightenment, deliver doctrinal teachings. No matter how plausible and beautiful the rhetoric is that they may use, and no matter how many Dharma talks they may make, they are making Karma that leads to hell because they are not only being deluded by illusions but also leading others to be deluded by illusions.

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If one is a true learner of the Way, one does not search for the faults of the world, but rather speedily applies oneself to attain genuine insight’ means that a true learner of the Way should try to see all things as they are instead of pointing out their faults. ‘If one only can see with perfect clarity, then all is completed’ means that if we can see everything as it is, that is, if we can see and hear their faulty talks as empty, enlightenment is achieved.

The point here is not what we see and hear but how we see and hear. Whereas all Sutras and masters’ Dharma talks are Mara’s talks if we are deluded by words, even the sound of birds and puppies are Dharma talks if we can see and hear them as they really are. That’s why ancient masters would say we don’t recognise the Dharma talks flooded around us.

 

Student: “What is the true-Self?”

Master: “You damn fool!”

Student: “Why do you call me names when I ask for teaching?”

Master: “Because you don’t hear it as it is.”

 

©Boo Ahm

All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway

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