Q298. Is enlightenment by Zen esoteric?

A.  Some people seem to have such an idea. The reason why it seems esoteric is not that it is hidden and transmitted secretly to only a few chosen people but that it is difficult to grasp through experience, not as knowledge.

From a historical point of view, no masters tried to hide it, but tried to share it with as many people as they could. They didn’t spare their effort to help people attain enlightenment until the last moment of their lives. We can see several cases in which masters gave teaching to their students even at the last moment of their life. To tell the truth, it can be said to be an open secret.
Let me quote a beautiful and holy situation when a master gave his teaching on his deathbed.
The master was about to enter transformation (to die). Sitting, he said: “After my death do not allow my True Dharma Eye to perish.”

Sansho, his student, burst out: “How could your True Dharma Eye perish?”

The master asked: “What then will you say when in future people put questions to you?”

Sansho gave a Katsu.

“Who could know that my True Dharma Eye would perish through this blind ass,” said the master, and revealed his Nirvana.
©Boo Ahm
All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway

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