Bodhi-Dharma, the first patriarch of Zen Buddhism, wrote that, “if you wish to seek the Buddha (enlightenment), you ought to see into your own nature; for nature is the Buddha himself.” Seeing your true self, the self that is connected to all of life and the universe, is what sets you free to fully understand and be at peace with your existence. We cannot escape the divine miracle of being. If we deny or ignore the majesty of our presence, we reject it’s inherent gift. To look away from that light is to believe in the shadow’s truth. The truth is there is no duality. There is only one truth but our awareness makes us question, is your truth valid or is mine? Who’s truth is best? The answer, in Zen terms, is “None. Both. Either. Neither.” What you have learned, compared, contrasted, debated, doubted, trusted and taken as your truth is merely a choice, defined by your mind. Beyond that dissecting, discerning, dividing self there is a truer self that knows all is One.
You are the light and the shadow. You perceive the sun’s illuminating brilliance and cast the shadow that seems so real. You are the reflection and the mirror, all in one. Accept the light and shade and you come to see into your own nature. What we embrace, we become, as much as what we avoid. In all things, there is you. In the stars, in the world, inside you, all around you, in the void and in the vastness of all that is, there you are. What you think and believe becomes what you do, becomes you. You and the Buddha are already One, simply by the act of your perceiving him.
Zen master Hui-Neng said, “from the first, not a thing is.” I believe this to mean that since the advent of creation no other separate thing has been created and all things we see are woven into one indivisible truth of being. Doesn’t that make you feel the depth and height of the miracle you are? You exist and nothing can erase or replace that beautiful truth. Be detached, free of form, free of mind, free of words and ideas, undisturbed by cause and effect, and there you’ll find the oneness and unity of your nature, your true self, moment by wondrous moment, breath by sacred breath, in meditation as in living.