An Easy Guide to Spiritual Practice
Of course, they never said “yourself,”
instead they talked about “true self,”
the foundation that leads and guides
our present consciousness.
They used all kinds of words
to point to this foundation,
such as “Buddha-nature,”
“Suchness,” “Original Appearance,”
and so on.
Among the old expressions
used by Seon masters,
I like “Juingong.” [The true doer, which has no fixed form.]
When it comes to spiritual practice,
I usually teach people to take everything that comes to them,
everything that confronts them,
and thoroughly entrust it to this “Juingong”
In order to completely entrust everything,
you need two things.
you must have faith.
Every single thing
originates from this foundation of ours, what I’m calling Juingong. Know this. Trust in this.
Don’t let your trust in this foundation waver,
not in the least bit,
even if you are suddenly confronted by things
that seems far beyond your ability.
Second, while having faith in this foundation,
you have to actually entrust it with the things that come up.
You have to completely let go of them and entrust them there.
Praying or begging for things to go a certain way
is not entrusting, is not letting go,
and it is not this spiritual practice that has to be done through mind.
True entrusting is like sweeping up all the scrap metal
and dumping it into the furnace.
True entrusting in every moment
is sincerely letting go
while having this kind of strong faith:
“Juingong! True Nature!
You’re the source of everything I encounter,
so you’re also what can take care of it all!”
Even though, for the sake of helping people understand,
I use words like “Juingong,”
don’t think this means something with a certain shape,
something that exists apart from where you are now.
“Juingong” means the Buddha within,
through this each and every thing is connected,
and is only one.
So please don’t get confused by names.
“Juingong,” “True Self,” “Inherent Buddha”
all mean “Search within yourself.
Don’t get distracted by outer things.”
At any rate, having faith and letting go like this
is the beginning of proper spiritual practice.
Observing and being aware is the next part.
“Observing” doesn’t mean to watch some object,
instead it is being firmly centered within yourself
and being aware.
What I’ve said here today is how to begin true spiritual practice. Sitting down with your legs crossed isn’t it.
If you find what I’ve said difficult to follow, then think of it like this:
“Juingong is like a post office mailbox that communicates with my inherent Buddha. Let’s just put everything that confronts me into this mailbox. It will deliver it to my inherent Buddha, and bring back a reply.”
Entrusting like this, with this kind of faith and watching for the responses, is the essence of spiritual practice.