From the book
Subtle Sound -- The Zen Teachings of Maurine Stuart
Edited by Roko Sherry Chayat
Shambahala Publications, 1996

The point of using one special Way again and again is that our expression becomes clearer and clearer through the discipline, just as with zazen, sitting after sitting, everything becomes clearer. When we are in the condition of Mu-shin, even to some small degree, then nature and spirit, human and superhuman become one; then great works of art are created. Looking at a calligraphy by Soen Roshi, we feel how Mu wrote Mu. There has been no egocentric attempt at effect, no interference, but simply a spontaneous and wonderfully vivid expression that comes straight out at us. There is no fixing it up, no removing the smudges, no brushing it over – it's just as it is.


Rinzai encourages us to seek Buddha within ourselves. It is not something we seek outside, not something given to us by someone. Rinzai is telling us to free ourselves from him, from attachment to him or to any teacher. It is so easy for us to become attached to someone or something we revere. We put someone up on a pedestal. Soen Roshi was absolutely adamant about this. He always said, "Do not put me in that place. I am just an ordinary monk. I have to practice harder than you, so please don't put me in that place. Have no attachment to me. Look at the universe, look at the stars, look at the moon, look at all of this in front of you: don't look at me."


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