Zen Wisdom 55



Many people who supposedly have seen their self-nature (that is they have experienced kensho) complain that they have not gained from their experience. They still have as many vexations as they had before the experience, and they say it was not worth the time and effort they put into the practice. If students have these feelings, did they truly experience kensho? Does kensho have any lasting effect, or does the benefit eventually recede, leaving practitioners where they started? Does the problem lie with the master who puts too much emphasis on answering koans (kung-ans), or does the problem lie with today's students who expect too much too soon, without working hard or long enough?


Seeing into one's nature is seeing into the nature of emptiness, seeing that there is nothing to be attached to. It is realizing that the four forms described in the Diamond Sutra ─ forms of self, forms of others, forms of life, forms of sentient beings ─ are all empty. It is realizing that the four views, that of eternity, bliss, self, and purity, are erroneous and inverted.