Zen Mind by Zen Master Dae Kwang

Buddha taught that the reason we suffer is because we don’t know what we really are—we’re ignorant of our true nature (another name for Zen mind). We are attached to our thinking. If we can just let go of our mistaken idea then we can return to what we already were, our Buddha nature. The Sixth Patriarch got enlightenment when he heard just one line from the Diamond Sutra, “When thinking arises in your mind, don’t attach to it.”

Our original Buddha nature is not a thing, so applying a term to “it” can just increase the problem. People can easily become attached even to the term that is designed to free them. However, we do have to talk about “it” if we are going to help the world. Buddha talked about it a lot; that’s where the sutras come from. Their purpose is not explanation. Their job is to point us towards what we truly are. That’s why Zen is known for its iconoclasm. It wants to remove every idea, even a good Zen idea, so you can have an authentic experience.