from ‘Constancy’, in ‘Right Attitude’ (‘Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind’, by Shunryu Suzuki)


“Our understanding of Buddhism should not just be gathering many pieces of information, seeking to gain knowledge. Instead of gathering knowledge, you should clear your mind. If your mind is clear, true knowledge is already yours. When you listen to our teaching with a pure, clean mind, you can accept it as if you were hearing something you already knew. This is called emptiness, or omnipotent self, or knowing everything. When you know everything, you are like a dark sky. Sometimes a flashing will come through the dark sky. After it passes. you forget all about it, and there is nothing left but the dark sky. The sky is never surprised when all of a sudden a thunderbolt breaks through. And when the lighting does flash, a wonderful sight might be seen. When we have emptiness we are always prepared for watching the flashing.
And we should not hoard knowledge; we should be free from our knowledge. If you collect various pieces of knowledge, as a collection it may be very good, but this is not our way. We should not try to surprise people by our wonderful treasures. We should not be interested in something special. If you want to appreciate something fully, you should forget yourself. You should accept it like lightning flashing in the utter darkness of the sky.”

from ‘Constancy’, in ‘Right Attitude’ (‘Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind’, by Shunryu Suzuki)

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