Yuanwu

‘All the myriad things are neither opposed to nor contrary to your true self. Directly pass through to freedom and they make one whole. It has been this way from time without beginning.
The only problem is when people put themselves in opposition to it and spurn it and impose orientations of grasping and rejecting, creating a concern where there is none. This is precisely why they are not joyfully alive.
If you can cut off outward clinging to objects and forget your false ideas of self, things themselves are the true self, and the true self itself is things: things and the true self are one suchness, opening through to infinity.
Then at all times, whatever you may be doing, it stands like a mile-high wall – where is all the trouble and disturbance?’ (Zen Letters)

Spending a week at a zen colleague’s house looking after the dog, I also get to enjoy the extensive library. This book is not one I remember seeing before; not having time to read the whole thing, I skim through the pages and find a consistent tone (as well as several versions of the ‘mile-high wall’ analogy). These are pieces written to disciples who were also teachers, and as such, illuminate a particular kind of instruction.

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