So that is the great question. What are we before we made up everything else? You know the monologue that has been playing in your head. We are always editing it, revising it, making up a story of who we are. But to try to arrive at the point where you can see what you are before you began to make up the story, that’s seeing true nature, the Buddha nature, and that’s the beginning of the end of suffering.
I said at the beginning that Buddha saw that but he didn’t stop practicing. Maybe you see something very strongly and very clearly, and then you say “Oh, now I am enlightened.” But, probably not, first of all, but yeah, maybe. And then, you think you can just coast. That’s not the case. If you stop practicing, it would just become a memory. It actually becomes a hindrance, worst than simply a memory, something you hold on to cherish, perhaps. So any kind of experience, just treat that with just “don’t know.” Always return to just the “don’t know” [hits the floor with his hand]. Be content to stay in the mystery.
By Zen Master Hae Kwang