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The Inexhaustible Treasury by Mushin Sensei

The Inexhaustible Treasury is your capacity to live, to be awake and aware. We all have the same eyes to see.

According to Shitou: What meets the eye is the Way, what meets the ear is the Way, provided you connect with it. If subjective views arise you are mountains and rivers away. Because of fixed views, you do not see it, even as you walk on it. Listen to Han-Shan’s the mountain poet’s verse: “Valuable indeed. The natural stuff. It stands all alone, without companion or mate. You can search for it but it cannot be seen; it goes in and out without gateway or door. Compress it – it will fit inside your heart; extend it – it will fill all of space. But if this is something you neither believe nor accept, you might run into it and yet never meet.”

Both Shitou and Han-Shan point to essential nature, the Inexhaustible Treasury, the Way of direct experiencing, meeting reality with every step. Hui Neng in his Platform Sutra says: “Our nature contains the ten thousand dharmas. That’s how great it is. And the ten thousand dharmas are our nature. To see humans and non-humans, both the good and the bad, good dharmas and bad dharmas, without rejecting them and without being corrupted by them, this is to be like space.”

This empty space, openness is the scenery of our fundamental ground. Can we keep our mind open? Take for an example, birds singing. Are they singing to themselves or to me? Investigate. Or is there just singing/listening? Nothing added, nothing taken away. This direct experiencing Dogen described as study throughout the body, the senses engaged as pure channels of what is. Not to get carried away, but to stay on track. Cut off your conditioned mind, absolutely nothing occupying your feelings. The lighting up of all sense fields with each experience without holding on or off.

That openness allowing all senses to be ignited, lived in, awakened, enlightened to themselves, subtle and indistinguishable. What about so-called painful experiences? How to deal with them? Hui Neng has this to say in his Platform Sutra: Good friends, affliction is enlightenment. One moment you are deluded and a fool. The next moment you are awake and a Buddha.

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