Zuigan was a Zen Master who was famous for the admonitions he gave himself each day, ending with “Don’t be misled by others,” to which he answered, “Yes sir! Yes sir!” More interesting to me is his comment that, upon experienc-
ing his great enlightenment, he was astonished to find that he was completely dead to himself. That is, he no longer had any interest in the personality called Zuigan. He might have added that he now saw all others as himself. This reminds one of Hakuin’s statement that, “After this, seeing the things of the world is like seeing the back of my own hand.”
This is a tremendous realization. In truth, no one has experienced realization; there is simply enlightenment, our original status. This also reminds us of the T’ai Chi Chih experience that “No one is doing T’ai Chi Chih; T’ai Chi Chih is doing T’ai Chi Chih.” Do you see the resemblance, and, if so, does it point out the potential for enlightenment in true T’ai Chi Chih practice?
It is said that, when Ramakrishna was riding in a horse and buggy, the driver cruelly whipped the horse, and bleeding scars appeared on Ramakrishna’s back. To one who is taken with his or her own suffering and with a total preoccupation with self, this is hard to understand. But John Donne said, “Do not ask for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.” Here was a man far along the way in Evolution.
Think about Zuigan’s statement. Had he lost something? Or had he gained something of inestimable merit? You be the judge.