It’s like one has been given a gift. If you just remember to consult it, it will always give you a right course, in any situation. But you have to consult it. Which means you have to practice.
There is a breaking through or falling away that happens, after which this nameless and formless gift sparkles in infinite facets. It has infininte aspects. It shines in countless ways, everywhere we look, and in every sound we hear.
Every koan is another shining aspect of it. By working through them we get opened up more and more, like a dome that is being taken apart piece by piece, until the dome is gone – until even the original crystal is gone, and the true “crystal palace” that Setcho talked about is revealed everywhere.
Meditation on the “Three Marks” of existence, Buddha’s second discourse.
1. Impermance. Hidden inside impermanence is the impossibility of impermanence: what arises is not a thing – each phenomenon has no “thingness,” nothing in there to pass away…
2. Dissatisfaction. Hidden in dissatisfaction is the impossibility of dissatisfaction: whatever dissatisfaction arises, it has no thing-ness, and while it exists from one point of view, from another it doesn’t exist at all. This is the core of the Heart Sutra: “Kanzeon saw that all five skandhas are empty, thus relieving all suffering and distress…”
3. No-self. This is the core liberative insight that the first two “marks” point us toward, if we only follow them and allow them to…