Maneesha, perhaps Zen is the only path that has led thousands of people to the ultimate reality. And in a way, it is so simple. There have been arduous ways, there have been self-torturing systems of belief. There are religions which are nothing but moralities, which are very temporary, having no relationship to the ultimate values of existence.
Zen is not a morality. It never talks about right and wrong. It never talks about the saint and the sinner. It is so respectful of reality that nothing in the whole of history can be compared with this respectfulness. It is not only respectful to human beings, but to this cricket, to these cuckoos, to these crows. Wherever life is, the Zen experience is that it is the same life. There is no categorization; nobody is lower or higher, but just different forms of the abundance of existence. It blossoms in many forms, in many colors; it dances in many ways and in many forms, but hidden within it is the same eternal principle.
Zen does not belong to the ordinary category of religions either, because it has no theology, no God, none of the nonsense questions which have troubled people for centuries. It has reduced the whole of religiousness to a single point within you. These anecdotes again and again reinforce the same point. Remember, the ultimate is within you but it is not within your mind. It is beyond the mind but within you.
Mind is a small corner in you, a small mechanism. It is useful, if you understand its ways of working; but it is otherwise dangerous, because it tends to take possession of you, to become the master, and to lead you into the ways of power, money and prestige. You are lost in a jungle of desires, longings; you live thirsty and you die thirsty, while the source of all fulfillment is within you.
Zen cuts all nonsense out. It is twenty-four carat gold, no mixture. That makes it very simple and also very difficult. It is difficult, because the simple is the most difficult thing in the world to understand. It is simple because it does not require you to do anything at all. Just sit silently, settle within yourself, and you have arrived at the place which is your home and has been always your home. It is your very being.
From Zen: The Diamond Thunderbolt, Discourse #5
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