Blue Cliff Record 76: Tan Hsia's Have You Eaten Yet?
In zen practice, we are encouraged to cease looking outside of ourselves. What does this really mean? In the beginning, it can be interpreted as letting go of the illusion that if only we had the right conditions, we would be content. However, we often enter spiritual life with the same attitude: that if only our practice was more ideal, then we would realize ourselves. According to Ryushin Sensei, the novice practitioner looks in order to see. To deepen our practice, we must recognize the seeing that comes before looking. It's as if we were seeing the source of a light rather than the object that is illuminated. Only then will our inherent clarity and freedom become available to us.