Ultimate Freedom

From Chapter 20 ("The Naked Truth") of Subtle Sound: The Zen Teachings of Maurine Stuart:

We are not doing this practice to gain some superficial composure; we are not here to feel a little bit better physically. These things may happen, but they are by-products. Gaining true insight is what we are here for. And then we can live our lives unaffected by living and dying. Living and dying includes everything. Not just our own life and death—everything, everything is living and dying, moment after moment.

When we gain true insight into this, then we an freely come, freely go, without getting entangled, without being deluded by others; then we can endlessly transform ourselves, without becoming caught up in the ongoing transformation. Letting it come, letting it go. In the midst of impermanence, we are constantly changing without getting enmeshed in any of it. This is what we are here to experience. We are not here to talk about it, but to experience it. This is absolute freedom, not relative freedom—it's not just being free from a few icky, sticky things.

Ultimate freedom is what we are here for. Ultimate, absolute freedom is what comes with true insight. And again, we do not come by this true insight by trying to become free. The very trying is an impediment. In our trying, we become grabby; we want something; we want to become enlightened. In seeking some supreme state of mind, some supernormal powers, we get caught in the leaves and branches, in stead of going directly to the root.

In truth, there is nothing to do. But we are doing nothing, doing, doing, doing, vividly. We are not sitting on the cushion daydreaming; we are not just passively letting things happen. We are dynamically present to them. Then everything becomes quite extraordinary. Somebody told me he'd like a few more sparkling events in his zazen. But if we are really present in our zazen, the whole thing is a sparkling event! Shining!

What do you think about enlightenment? Don't. Don't think about it even for one second. And don't look to someone else to do it for you. No teacher can give you true insight. True insight simply is. Each one of us must open up to this; each one of us must awaken to it. There is no other way to save anyone. A teacher can inspire us; reading his or her words may spark our energy, give us more stability, more endurance; but true insight is up to us.

(cf. Contract Scribbled on a Rain Cloud (2009-03-04), No Method (2010-01-21), Listen to the Traffic (2014-11-12), Happiness Is (2015-07-28), Enlightened State (2015-08-20), Mantra - Let the Mind Pass By (2016-09-17), ...) - ^z - 2017-06-18