Zen is very simple. What are you?
In this whole world everyone searches for happiness outside, but nobody understands their true self inside. Everybody says, “I.” “I want this, I am like that...” but nobody understands this “I”. Before you were born, where did you come from? When you die where do you go? If you sincerely ask, “What am I?” sooner or later you will run into a wall where all thinking is cut off. We call this “Don’t know.”
Zen is keeping this don’t-know mind always and everywhere.
When walking, standing, sitting, lying down, speaking, being silent, moving, being still... At all times, in all places, without interruption — what is this? One mind is infinite kalpas.
Meditation in Zen means keeping don’t-know mind when bowing, chanting and sitting Zen. This is formal Zen practice. And, when doing something, just do it. When driving, just drive; when eating, just eat; when working, just work.
Finally your don’t-know mind will become clear. Then you see the sky, only blue — you can see the tree, only green. Your mind is like a clear mirror — red comes, the mirror is red; white comes, the mirror is white. A hungry person comes, you can give him food; a thirsty person comes, you can give her something to drink.
That mind is already Enlightenment, what we call Great Love, Great Compassion, the Great Boddhisattva Way. It’s very simple, not difficult!
So Buddha said that all beings have Buddha-nature (enlightenment nature). But Zen Master Jo Ju said that a dog has no Buddha nature. Which one is right? Which one is wrong? If you find that, you find the true way.
The Human Route
Coming empty-handed, going empty-handed — that is human.
When you are born, where do you come from?
When you die, where do you go?
Life is like a floating cloud which appears.
Death is like floating cloud which disappears.
The floating cloud itself originally does not exist.
Life and death, coming and going, are also like that.
But there is one thing which always remains clear.
It is pure and clear, not dependent on life and death.
What, then, is the one pure and clear thing?