In the Mumonkan, case 13, Tokusan Holds His Bowls Ganto says Tokusan is renowned but he doesn’t know the last word. Later he says “Our old man has got hold of the last word! This led me to contemplate the “Last Word.” It has become a Hwatou for me; What is the last word? much like “What does the one return to? I recommend studying this case and working on it. It can bring great insight.
Silent Illumination is the practice of just sitting. You can read about it in a book on Master Hongzhi’s teachings titled ‘Cultivating the Empty Field.’ Also in ‘The Method of No-method’ by Master Shen Yen. It’s a simple method but not easy to fully develope. You must relax the body and the mind and practice awareness of the body just sitting. The awareness is on the body as a whole and not individual elements of the body. The mind is totally relaxed and one let’s go of all wandering thoughts. Master Sheng Yen teaches additional practices as part of it such as contemplating impermanence of the environment, body and mind. When one can fully experience impermanence there is no fear, no suffering. I suggest reading the two books mentioned above. Loving Kindness to ALL
We have six senses: Seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching and mental functions. Ego sits on top of these and attaches to the objects of these senses. It causes desire for things we see, touch or any of the other functions. We should meditate and learn to let go of ego. Without ego there is no suffering only a luminous awareness. Today I practice letting go of ego.
Zen Buddhism is very simple. I try to keep my mind still and free from wandering thoughts. I practice the following daily
May all beings practice compassion
May all beings have sympathetic joy for others
May all beings live in peace and detachment
I try to ferry all beings to the other shore.
But I have my demons too. Remember me in your meditation.
Loving kindness to ALL beings.
Case 69 – translation by Gerry Sheshin Wick.
Attention! Nansen addressed the assembly, saying, “All Buddhas of the three times don’t know of it, but cats and cows know of it.”
One interpretation: the Enlightened life is simple like that of cats and cows. Don’t get lost in words, thoughts and concepts.
People keep busy with trivial and mundane things so they don’t have to look deeply into this.
I think this paragraph from Dennis Waller’s introduction to the Hsin Hsin ming is very helpful.
The path to enlightenment is the realization that there is nothing to find, nowhere to go, nothing to achieve. There is no need to search for God for God has been within you always. God, itself is your true self, your true being. It is nothing more than waking up from the dream.
Waller, Dennis (2012-07-24). Hsin Hsin Ming . . Kindle Edition.