The Royal Road of Zen

Q: Roshi, you've spoken of the "royal road" to sudden awakening in Zen. You've also said it's the most ancient & at the same time the simplest & most direct Buddhist meditation (Sanskrit: dhyana). Could you sum it up in a few words?

A: Sure! Here it is. Contrary to what is often taught:

You don't observe your body's breathing. Instead, you observe with keen attention the space that opens between one breath & another. This is the actual ancient Buddhist method of attaining quick & decisive enlightenment.

As the breath relaxes, it grows finer & longer, & the space between breaths stretches out. Attention sinks into that space & knows itself suddenly as pure [naked vivid & vibrant awareness]. The mind then wakes up to its own essence, which is nothing other than this [unbounded] space now experienced as purely pervading every single thought & sensation.

Such is the original Buddhist meditation way of entering the Womb of the Tathagata & experiencing one's primordial wisdom here-now.

Having done this, the wild wind & the pelting cold rain, the blazing white clouds, the sun, the moon, movements of one's own hands & feet, everything is revealed as the spontaneous [vibrant & cheerful] activity of Buddha.

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