A Tiger Climbs a Tree

A tiger climbs a tree. Why bother?

Q: Roshi, what is this not thinking of the past or the future like? All day, every moment awake, I'm thinking about something in the past or the future.

A: Let's see what it's like. I can't just show you by pulling it out of my pocket. Sit down here with me for ten minutes and let's cut off all our thinking about anything, so the past and the future both cease to exist for us, and the so-called present changes its character completely from a mere conceptualized moment in time to the inconceivable fullness of Being. Once you've tasted it, you will be motivated to gain stability in it. Once you've gained stability, you will be a Buddha.

Q: That's so artificial. I don't want to make any effort like that.

A: Then, unexcelled perfect enlightenment is not for you! As Nietzsche once said, "Become what you are!" Here is a humble poem to illustrate:
The true self (honshin, Bodhi) must come to be.
It does not already exist,
only the potential for it does.
Like the oak in the acorn,
like rain in the blinding white cloud,
like a cut from a knife,
like a love letter from your future wife.

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