Mirror of Zen Blog

With Greatest Urgency


Great Zen masters have always exhorted us to practice “as one who suddenly discovers that his hair is on fire.”  If you suddenly realised that your hair was consumed in flames, you would instantly drop all interest in anything else and just jump right into putting out the fire, right?  No hesitation: Just straight ahead effort.  You would not be checking the sports scores, or wondering about the comments someone made at the last dinner party, or a rumor heard in the office.  In other words, just like this guy’s mind, with suffering raging up behind, really all of our concern and effort must be put into attaining some safe place — the unmoving nature of our own True Self.

What this frantic guy is experiencing is what I felt for so much of my life, and even after when I had first encountered these teachings, and began the practice.  Just like this guy — no difference whatsoever. All effort was put into drilling down into the matter of “I don’t know true me. What is that?”