The Whole Universe on the Tips of Your Eyelashes

Bodhisattva by Linaji

Let me take the whole universe and put it on the tips of your eyelashes. Don’t be impatient when you hear this, but slowly and carefully examine it. If you are a good student, you won’t rest until you have realized it. Then you will be a superior person; when you hear that some great Master has appeared in the world to liberate all beings, you’ll immediately clap your hands over your ears. As long as you aren’t your own Master, you may think you have gained something from what you hear; but it is secondhand merchandise, and not yours.
Look at Te-shan. The moment he saw a monk coming, he would chase him off with his stick. Or Mu-chou: whenever a monk entered his room, he would say, “You deserve to be hit thirty times.” What can other teachers do? If they don’t know for themselves, they are just swallowing other people’s saliva. Brothers, those who really have it live like ordinary men. Those who don’t have it should use their time. Be very careful.
Among the ancient Masters, there are quite a few who left helpful teachings. Hsueh-feng, for example, said, “The whole earth is nothing but you.” Chia-shan said, “Find me on the tips of a hundred blades of grass, and recognize the king in a crowded market.” Loo p’u said, “When you hold a grain of dust, you are holding the universe in your hand. A golden lion, in all its splendor, is you.” Take these teachings and meditate on them, again and again; someday you will find your entrance. But no one can do it for you. Every one of you should work toward Self-realization. The Master can only bear testimony. If you have gained something within, he can’t hide it from you; if you haven’t gained anything, he can’t find it for you.Brothers, time waits for no man. If you should get fatally sick before you realize the truth, what would you do? Wouldn’t you be like a crab that has fallen into boiling water, its legs flailing in confusion and pain? So don’t waste your time. Life is precious; if you miss this chance, it may take a billion eons before you receive a human body again.
If even a worldly man like Confucius said, “He who realizes the Tao in the morning can die content in the evening,” how much more effort should we monks put into this matter! Please do your best, and take good care of yourselves.

Posted by | Paul Reynolds
Paul has been a yoga teacher on the Island of Kauai for many years and is the facilitator of the weekly Living the Question Blog - a repository of wisdom and inspiration. Paul also produces and hosts Le Guru is You Radio Show, showcasing everyday gurus.

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