When real truth stamps the mind, the path becomes self-evident. If the mind is not true, then even if you attend lectures everyday and discuss the path constantly, this just provides topics of conversation and is ultimately of no benefit on the path.
So what is the real truth? It is just a matter of looking back into the purity of your own mind in the course of daily activities, not being led astray by anything. The mind is like a monkey, consciousness like a horse: without the tool of great awareness watching them, it will be truly hard to control them no matter how clever your devices.
But when the mind has been settled, so that it merges back into oneness, and all traces of birth and extinction disappear, then you naturally realize basic subtle illumination, thoroughly empty, yet uncannily penetrating and effective.
The Spiritual Light
The spiritual light shines independently, transcendentally liberated from organs and objects of sense. This statement has said it all. If you can understand this, how could I presume to talk a lot?
If the light is not revealed, you need a method. The method is not asking someone to explain; it is not studying scriptures; it is not doing a lot of charitable acts; it is not closing the eyes and sitting as if dead. Just look intently into the question of what your original face is in the course of daily life. Don't think about whether it is hard or easy, and that your own faculties and potential are slow, or that you are too heavily obstructed by past habits. Just go right ahead and do it; after a while, eventually you will bump into it all of a sudden.
--Excerpted from Teachings of Zen
Translated by Thomas Cleary
The further we enter into any study, practice, the easier it is to see all paths converging with a central Truth expressed according to the listeners' ability to understand. These teachers' messages all point within. It is amazing how such a simple sounding message can be so challenging to stay with. The senses pull us outward; our thoughts pull us forward and backward; and our feelings seem so compelling at times. And then there are the vasanas, our tendencies that lead us around our habitual ways.
All the stories, teachings and lessons are like crumbs left on the ground to guide us home as in the tale of Hansel and Gretel. We still have to make the effort to sit, pause, and remember who we are each day. With time the mind becomes stronger, and the tendencies can be felt to weaken. We take care of our responsibilities; we have activities we enjoy, but the attachment as the doer lessens and allows us to see more in perspective.
In this world of shifting standards, be true to your quest. Be someone with a code that encourages you to keep on when everything seems to be pulling you elsewhere. We are the doorways through which more Light can enter.
Find a way to remember who you are.
Always here, The Monkess