When you pass through, no one can pin you down, no one can call you back.

A life transcending religious or sectarian "Zen," with independent perception.

The beginning of cultivating yourself is right in yourself; on a thousand mile journey, the first step is the most important. If you can do both of these well, the infinite sublime meanings of hundreds of thousands of teachings will be fulfilled.

Your eyes are looking southeast while your attention is in the northwest. It cannot be sought by mindlessness, it cannot be understood by mindfulness. It cannot be reached by talking, it cannot be understood by silence.

Unperceptive and impulsive people cannot work it or hold it. All the original adepts were unique in their speech and activity, never willing to sink into stagnancy, as if there were a final form.

It's just like learning archery: eventually you reach a point where ideas are ended and feelings forgotten, and then you suddenly hit the target.
You should also know, furthermore, that there is a subtlety breaking through the target, which is attained spontaneously.

At some point you will suddenly turn the light of your mind around and see through illusions to the real self. Then you will understand where everything comes from -- mundane passions and illusions, the material world, form and emptiness, light and darkness, principle and essence, mystery and marvel.
Once you understand this clearly, then you will not be caged or trapped by anything at all, mundane or transmundane.

Those who did not meet real teachers at the outset of their quest, plunged into the firest of false teachers, and having been poisoned by their venom, they think their study is done.
They just usurp what they hear, eager to be known for it, trying to prove themselves, only saying that Zen is just this.
These kinds of people are fatally ill, unless they recognize their error someday and let go of it sometime.

Just let go of the burden of "others" and "self," of ideas of gain and loss, right and wrong, Buddha and Buddhism, mystery and marvel.
As soon as you let go this way, you feel body and mind light and easy, thoroughly pure inside and out. Then your heart is clear all the time. In a cool flash of insight, you go free.
Now you are ready for refinement. If you just keep to the insight you've attained and consider it ultimate, you are still clinging to sometime. Zen people free from convention are very different from this.

If people want to learn Zen, let them learn the Zen of a lone lamp shining in a death ward.
Do not set up any limit, with the idea that you want to realize Zen for sure by such and such a time.

When the essence of seeing is everywhere, so is the essence of hearing. When you clearly penetrate the ten directions, there is no inside or outside. This is why it is said, "Effortless in all circumstances, always real in action and stillnes." Action like this is the function of complete real wisdom.

The classical masters of Zen were people who had above all let go.
As soon as they showed up, they overturned the sky and wrapped up the earth.
How was it that they were like this?
Simply because their final thoughts was correct and they couldn't be trapped by false teachers or mountebanks and mesmerists, so their mentalities were beyond clannishness and transcended conventional parameters.
They did not associate with people at random, and they did not dwell on anything ephemeral.
They only kept life and death uppermost in their minds, and yet as they did so they did not suppose there is anything that dies or does not die.
This is how the ancients worked. In this it is essential to penetrate clearly and extend it to full application.
After that, one can undergo radical Zen treatment, lest one still be at a loss in the midst of complex changes and developments.
Needless to say, when one is still at a stage where the mind is "half dark and half light, half clear and half raining," one cannot "walk alone in the vastness" even if one wants to.

"Enlightenment is beyond words, and no person has ever attained it."
A classical Zen master said, "Zen has no sayings, nothing at all to give people."
Another classical master said, "I don't like to hear the word 'Buddha.'"
See how they sprayed sand and hurled stones this way. This can already blind people. If you still look for a living road on a staff or search for a representative expression in a shout, this is no different from catching a rat and looking in its mouth for elephant tusks.

Generally speaking, Zen requires a decisive, powerfull will, because you are going to be cleaning you six senses all the time, so that even if you are in the midst of all the stresses and pleasures of the world, it is like being in a pure, uncontrived realm of great liberation.
Profoundly stable and calm, like a gigantic mountain, you cannot be disturbed by cravings or external conditions, you cannot be held back by interference and difficult.
This is a shortcut to the Way by empowered work.