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Book Name: Zen - The Solitary Bird, Cuckoo of the ForestPrevious     Next
 

directly, then you have to go from the ABC of religiousness.

Zen is XYZ.

WHEN A MONK ASKED KASSAN, "WHAT IS THE WAY?" HE ANSWERED, "THE SUN OVERFLOWS OUR EYES; FOR TEN THOUSAND LEAGUES NOT A CLOUD HANGS IN THE SKY."

This is the Way. Just spaciousness, nothing clouding your consciousness, no anger, no greed. no ego, Just a pure, innocent being.

"WHAT IS THE REAL FORM OF THE UNIVERSE?" ASKED THE MONK.

"THE FISHES AT PLAY IN THE CLEAR-FLOWING WATER MAKE THEIR MISTAKES," REPLIED KASSAN.

Kassan said, "Don't be worried about the universe; think of yourself as just like a small fish in the ocean."

Zen is alone in its great insight that it does not use the word `sin', but only `mistake'. The fish can make mistakes in the ocean, but that does not change its original nature. Whatever you have done, you have simply been writing on water. Your right, your wrong, your virtue, your sin -- all are divisions of the mind. Your sinners and your saints -- all are fish in the same ocean. Somebody is going this way, somebody is going that way.

Not to make this distinction of sinners and saints, of right and wrong, and just to be utterly silent, without any judgment -- this is your original nature. You have found the universe within yourself. Then the sun rises within you and the whole sky with all the stars is part of your consciousness.

Zen is expansion of consciousness to the limitless, to the eternal. It is not concerned with small, stupid things. All the so-called religions are concerned with stupid things, with rituals which are non-essential, with gods which are created by man's imagination. The only authentic concern for a seeker is to find the center of his own being ... and he has found the center of the whole existence.

A poem by Basho reads:

WITH YOUR SINGING

MAKE ME LONELIER THAN EVER ...

The birds are singing --

WITH YOUR SINGING

MAKE ME LONELIER THAN EVER,

YOU, SOLITARY BIRD,

CUCKOO OF THE FOREST.

Because of this poem the new series that we are entering will be called ZEN: THE SOLITARY BIRD, CUCKOO OF THE FOREST.

Hofuku wrote this poem

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