Turn around the light to shine within, then just return. The vast inconceivable source can’t be faced or turned away from.Shitou Xiqian
In his 8th century poem, “Song of the Grass Roof Hermitage,” Master Sekito Kisen (Shitou Xiqian) offers a dharma wellspring of instruction for practice and a presentation of the fact – the fact of who and what we truly are.
“Turn around the light to shine within, then just return. The vast inconceivable source can’t be faced or turned away from.”
We sit, shining the light on what is, on things just as they are, and realize – embody, discover, clarify: already so. You cannot become anything. The subject that would become something – like becoming a buddha, becoming awakened – does not exist. Not as we imagine.
The vast inconceivable source can’t be faced or turned away from. So, what are we to do?
Find or create a space for practice – mat, cushion, bench, chair – and don’t give up, Shitou tells us. Persist in sitting. How? “Let go of hundreds of years and relax completely. Open your hands and walk innocent.” That is zazen. That is our life.
This place of practice, however small, “includes the entire world.” From the beginning, already so. Already home.
With gratitude and love,