by Rev. Koshin Schomberg

Chapter 19
The True Gift

There is nothing to give or to be given: this is called the Right Law.

--Great Master Keizan, "The Transmission of the Light" (Denkoroku), translated by Rev. Master Jiyu-Kennett


All things pass: this is a law of the universe. The job of the meditator is to sit still within this continual falling-away and to accept it completely--to be rooted in Something more real than the transitory.

There is the continual flow of existence and there is That which does not come and go. The changing and Unchanging are not two conflicting realities: they are two aspects of one Reality.

Allow knowing and not-knowing, possessing and losing, loving and hating, enjoying and suffering to arise and fall away: what is left?--Immaculacy.


In Buddhism, the primary meaning of "Cease from evil," the first of the three Pure Precepts, is "Refrain from doing that which blinds us to Immaculacy." Grasping after worldly things blinds us to Immaculacy; despising anything whatsoever blinds us to Immaculacy. Sitting still, looking up, opening the heart to the Eternal: this enables us to recognize Immaculacy.

If we would know Immaculacy, we must refrain from indulging in clever thinking. "Clever thinking" can be defined as "Pridefully judging the universe on the basis of one's own theories and opinions." Clever thinking is foolishness masquerading as wisdom. The first step toward wisdom is the recognition that one knows very little; the next step is the recognition that one knows nothing: from this point, one can move toward understanding that it is enough to know the Lord of the House.

The Gift

A true gift is something provided to us out of the giver's love and generosity. A true gift is given without having to be earned.

Immaculacy is the permanent gift that is possessed by all beings. It is a gift that is neither given nor received, since It neither comes nor goes. Yet It is still the greatest of all gifts. We did not earn It, and we can never really lose It--yet It is a gift, and when we find It our gratitude is immense.



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