Dogen wrote a poem on this koan:
Before the mountains, an ownerless wild land,
Up and down, high and low are left to forage.
Wishing to judge square or circle, or figure bent and straight,
From east, west, south and north, a single green seedling.
To give up all ownership takes great trust. To be that ownerless wild land yourself is not just a matter of mechanically letting go. It’s a great leap into the water of our original nature. Vimalakirti said that if we want to heal our sickness, we have to give up our egoism and possessiveness. But who wants to give up their affliction if it comes in the form of privilege? Not many. Even our disadvantage or subjugation becomes conditioned. The person who is held by the jailer becomes beholden to the jailer for small pleasures. So to eliminate egoism and possessiveness we have to free ourselves from duality, which means from being fooled by inside and outside, external and internal, highs and lows—all appearances. Vimalakirti says this means we have to not deviate, not fluctuate, not be distracted. But not distracted from what? Vimalakirti says from equanimity. Or you could call it profound sanity. To not deviate, not fluctuate, not be distracted from what is true. Real truth. What does that mean? It means that in the moment when we look and our mind begins to instantly form a clear and certain image, we see that formation. We don’t deviate from seeing its creation. It is only then that we can see its destructiveness. We see how in that moment a whole person—who is as vast as the universe—becomes an object in our mind. And you know what we do to objects: we throw them away when we have no more use for them. So in that moment we have to not deviate, not fluctuate, not be distracted from what is true. What is true in that moment? See directly into what is before you.