Knowledge and Faith

A dying Zen Master was asked “What is the most important paramita? “Persistance!” he croaked. Yesterday in class our teacher related the story of an old classmate coming for a visit. “I’ve just about given up,” he said. “After all these years I don’t really believe I’m capable of becoming a Buddha!” What was this man’s problem? Practice without reward? Depression? It certainly wasn’t lack of motivation. He was a faithful Buddhist! Or was he? He had knowledge & he had put in the time & effort, but in the end, did he have faith in himself? Perhaps not… My husband’s Zen teacher said “Have great faith in yourself!” But he also said “You have a fine mind. That’s your problem.” My husband, many years later, passed on this ironic comment to me, so let me pass it on to you. But how could that be true? Only if you use the “fine mind” to get tied up with preconceptions and begin drifting further and further away from your spiritual goal: the first breakthrough.

There is the perception of opposition; of a barrier. Who or what put up that barrier? Who or what separates you from the truth? There is a presentation…right in front of us that we do not see or relate to. We have “no-‘d” ourselves into a corner and want to begin opening; to see what is “really here” but what is really here will destroy the only world we have ever known and our”selves” with it; the constructs which never were.

The Grand Master says “If you can have only a moment of clarity in practice, you are a Buddha for one moment. If you can have a minute of clarity, you are a Buddha for one minute.” Go from there. Is your very life a price too high to pay? Have great faith in yourself.

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