Trust Your Own Perfection

Dharma Discourse by Konrad Ryushin Marchaj Sensei
Gateless Gate, Case 45
Wuzu: "Who Is That Other?"

Featured in Mountain Record 29.1, Fall 2010


The Main Case

Wuzu said, “Shakyamuni and Maitreya are servants of another. Tell me, who is that other?”

 

Wumen's Commentary

If you can see this other and distinguish him or her clearly, then it is like encountering your parents at the crossroads. You will not need to ask somebody whether or not you’re right.

 

Wumen's Poem

Don't draw another's bow;
don't ride another's horse;
don't discuss another's faults;
don't explore another's affairs.


The correct but superficial response to the question posed by Wuzu in this koan is, “It’s you.” Shakyamuni Buddha, the historical founder of Buddhism, Maitreya Buddha, the archetypal buddha of the future, are your servants. That is the sole purpose of their existence—to serve you. You are the heart of this koan. You are the heart of every koan and the pivot point of all Buddhism, which is to say, of all reality. The alpha and omega and everything in between. Every teaching points to this truth; every practice is offered in the spirit of allowing us to verify it and to deepen our appreciation of its significance.

Do you believe this? Do you trust this reality and are you willing to take full responsibility for living out of this fact? It is within these questions that this koan can come to life. Do you really believe that you are a perfect person, an intrinsically enlightened being containing the totality of this universe? Perfection personified? And pushing the edge of this line of inquiry further, do you trust that it is precisely the way you’re experiencing yourself right here, right now that is the manifestation of that perfection? How completely do you have faith in this reality?