‘I have gone on at great length about life in a Zen monastery, a subject that may seem totally unrelated to your own lives. Yet all people, regardless of how their lives are structured, hold themselves dear. Everyone wants to be happy. And enlightenment is the starting point of happiness. We can use the words “true self-confidence” in place of “enlightenment.” True self-confidence means confidence in the true self, and confidence in the true self is a necessary requisite to happiness.
The power in which you can come to believe in yourself is not gained through training. It is the great power that transcends the self, that gives life to the self. The purpose of Zen practice is to awaken to the original power of which you have lost sight, not to gain some sort of new power. When you have sought and sought and finally exhausted all seeking, you become aware of that with which you have been, from the beginning – before ever beginning to search – abudantly blessed. After you have ceaselessly knocked and knocked, you realize, as I have said, that the door was standing wide open even before you ever started pounding away. That is what practice is all about.’ (Novice To Master)
I think Morinaga Roshi entirely summarises what practice is all about. It might seem hard to get a grasp on, and it might seem counter-intuitive that we need to practice to discover that we don’t need to find something new, but I believe this to be true. If you want to hear another way of discussing this, Bryan, as I suggested before, nailed it in his recent talk.