Let each and every one of you turn the light inwards upon himself, and not try to memorize my words. Since time without beginning, you have turned your back upon the light and run after darkness. The habits of erroneous thinking are so deep-rooted in you that it would be extremely difficult to uproot them overnight. This is why one is compelled to resort to the use of make-believe expedients in order to strip you of your crude ways of thinking.
This is on a par with what a parent sometimes would do in order to stop his little child from crying – giving him some yellow leaves, making believe that they are precious coins. It is also like a man setting up a store stocked with all kinds of goods for daily use, as well as articles of gold and jade, to accommodate customers of different abilities. As I have often said, Sekito’s is a gold shop, while mine is a general store, selling all and sundry…. But business depends on demand. If there is no demand, there is no business.
If I dealt only with the essence of meditation, I would be left all alone. Even a single companion would be hard to get, to say nothing of a community of five or seven hundred monks. If, on the other hand, I talked about things of East and West, people would come in flocks, pricking up their ears to catch every bit of my tales. That would be like showing an empty fist to little children, pretending that there are candies in it. This is just humbug.
Now, let me tell you in all plainness:
Do not divert your mind to the holy things; rather, direct it to your self-nature, and cultivate yourself with your feet on the ground. Do not desire the three “gifts of vision,” and the six “supernatural powers.” Why? Because these are only accidentals of holiness.
The one thing essential now is to recollect your mind to attain the fundamental, the very root of your being. Having arrived at the root, you need have no worry about the accidentals. In time you will find that you are self-provided with all these accidental gifts and powers. On the other hand, so long as you have not got at the root, you will not be able to acquire such gifts and powers through study and learning.
Maneesha, basically there is only one way of discovering the buddha, the truth of your very being. But there are thousands of people with different states of consciousness; hence for them, different devices, different small streets joining to the main way, have to be created. That’s what all the Zen masters in the fourteen-hundred-year history of Zen have been trying very diligently to do.
No one is being left out; everybody is shown a way that may fit them. But finally, whatever fits you will lead you to the ultimate way: turning in. Every device is dedicated to the simple task of turning in.
As the situation is, man is born with five senses which all go outwards. Nature has not given you a special sense that goes inwards.