By Wes Annac, Culture of Awareness
Like a lot of other spiritual teachers, Lin-Chi tried to pass down to his followers the notion that by seeking enlightenment or a higher consciousness, we push ourselves from it because it’s already a natural part of us and we don’t need to do anything to return to it.
We don’t need to learn or practice anything to rediscover the true Self; we only need to keep in mind that it’s a constant part of us and drift into it in love, silence, emptiness and non-effort.
Here are four quotes from Lin-Chi about the futility of seeking enlightenment. Once we stop seeking, we can simply and effortlessly return to something that’s been here all along and that, little do we know, seeks us as much as we seek it.
1. You’ll Lose the Buddha
“Seek the Buddha and you’ll lose the Buddha.”
2. The More You Search, The Farther Away You Get
“The more you search the farther away you get, the harder you hunt the wider astray you go. This is what I call the secret of the matter.”
3. What Is There to Seek For?
“Outside the mind there is no Dharma, and even inside the mind it can’t be grasped. So what is there to seek for?”
4. No Call for Anything Special
“The way I see it, there’s no call for anything special. Just act ordinary, put on your clothes, eat your rice, pass the time doing nothing. You who come from here and there, you all have a mind to do something. You search for Buddha, search for the Dharma, search for emancipation, search for a way to get out of the threefold world. Idiots, trying to get out of the threefold world! Where will you go?”
- Burton Watson, trans. The Zen Teachings of Master Lin-Chi [Rinzai]. A Translation of the Lin-Chi Lu. Boston and London: Shambala, 1993, 76.
- Ibid., 36.
- Ibid., 43.
- Ibid., 53-4.