Sudden Awakening to the Truth of Zen

As I was on my way to the village for a vegetarian feast, a sudden rainstorm forced me to take shelter in an abandoned temple . . . 
As I travel the world I sometimes find myself engaging in debates with other people who do Zen or think they know something about Zen. I am sometimes told that satori is a myth and that the real doctrine of Zen is that there is no "truth" of Zen or anything else. I reply in the words of Master Huang-Po, who said "a perception, sudden as blinking, that subject and object are one, will lead to a deeply mysterious wordless understanding; and by this understanding you will awaken suddenly to the truth of Zen."

Usually, I am then asked: "If that's so, how does one possibly achieve this non-intellectual direct "perception, sudden as blinking, that subject and object are one?" I answer in Master Huang-Po's words: "Bodhidharma sat rapt in meditation before a wall; he did not seek to lead people into having opinions."

Do I then say that one has to "sit" in order to get wu/satori? Not at all. One has to sit because one is a human being and it is natural for human beings to sit -- it would be perverse not to. Since you're already sitting sometimes, why not learn to sit the Zen way and enter the samadhi free of opinionated anxious and tortured thinking?

I sit in Mokuso, because I also practice with a sword and this is the calm sitting one does before engaging in sword practice or a sword match. I also play the bamboo flute, and Seiza is the best seated posture for playing the bamboo flute with shibumi. It's a natural type of sitting that feels both powerful and relaxed. Try it! Try sitting like an old blackened tea kettle on the coals of a fire, or a discarded temple bell half-buried in wild spring grass -- or a tiger about to spring.

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