To Make a Small Zen Temple of Wherever You Are

Attaining no-thought and no-mind in a single instant is the true ancient way of Zen.

Sometimes I take people hiking up into the mountains after enjoining them not to talk or to think, just to empty themselves to receive the direct Zen transmission from bird-loud forests and freezing waterfalls.

It is difficult for some to attain, but when it does occur the energetic switch to no-thought and no-mind is, just as soon as it happens, at once obvious to everyone else nearby  -- an immersion in the sheer vigor and enjoyment of the splendors of nature, unbelievable bliss!

A smile rises through the whole body and shines out of every gesture, pervading infinite space. Who knew that simple silence could hold such charm?

Then I go around in the city and see people frowning with thought. They are distorted by the seeming necessity to form ideas and judgments about all experiences, and so exude a sad and nervous tension. They perpetually hold onto a past that contains humiliations and anguish, and they yearn for a future that may never come.

As Master Rujing said, "Zen study is the shedding of body and mind!" You must make a small Zen temple of wherever you are, so that you can revel silently in the sheer radiance of life.

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