Then Zen does not teach anything. It merely points. It shows the way. It is up to you to walk the path. So, there is not much intellectual work, like Reading, listening. Also, there is no Repetitions of religious rituals like worshipping an object. or doing what Parents Grandparents did. You would become a copycat. Zen is not that.
Zen is asking you to take an erect posture. Follow your breath. Natural breathing, doing mindfully. That is all. But when you Silently sit and follow your breath., With all earnestness and sincerity, you will experience a calmness, a quiet state. You are now freed from your racing thoughts. That is, the mind stops. You’re experiencing it. The silence, the peace. It is not theory.
What we say here is the calmness, that you experience is your, Innate, inherent original nature. The essence. Call it by any name, the awareness, the Buddha Hood or Original nature. It is all just words. My point is, by sitting unmoved and paying attention to breathing, did you produce the calmness inside? Did you create it? No, it was there. But the mind, the racing thoughts had masked it, covered it. Now you removed the cover. Something like opening a closed door. There it is available. So, the essence, calmness was always there but covered. You have now discovered it, found it. Got back what was your own property. So, my point is, the calmness is your true nature. So, right attitude means having a strong faith and unwavering confidence in the true nature, in the inheritance calmness.
With the right attitude, having firm Conviction, faith in the undisturbed Peaceful state. That is our true nature. Then you sit erect and practice, now you are there in your true nature of peace and tranquility. You get a glimpse of Enlightenment or Buddhahood.
So, the practice and the glimpse of enlightenment are the two sides of the same coin. One is contained within the other. So, it all depends on how strong is your faith in the true nature. Even if the sun rises in the West, the Zen student does not give up his faith and determination. Because, as is the practice, so is the Enlightenment experience. That is why the Zen gives paramount importance to the practice, sit erect, watch breath. No concession to that. Halfhearted attempts and doubtful minds won’t work. That is why attitude is so important.
Now come to the other part of the story. By sitting straight. And watching breath. You have dissolved. Ever thoughts? You have stopped your mind. Find out what you have. Actually dissolved. What are these? Thoughts made of? You will see. Some material from the past, and some things from the future. They produce thoughts in the mind. So, when you say you have dissolved your mind you have dissolved the your so called "Self".
So, the idea of self as a long-lasting permanent structure it’s not wisdom. The very idea of self is foolish. And to think that it will last long if height of stupidity. But it appears before your eyes. But it is an apparent reality, not a sustaining reality as you believe it. No, it is not so. The Monuments, forts and palaces that your thoughts build would sustain for little longer time. But not this self, the myself, the yourself. The only reliable dependable reality is your own inherent true peaceful nature. That is why I say, you must have strong unwavering faith in this inherent nature. So, the strong confidence in this will definitely help us to express our inherent calm state in all other activities. That is the correct attitude. If their attitude is not strong, if it is wavering, half-hearted and doubtful, not serious, but childish. Then, you will have only the other option to be condemned to live in your past and future disconnecting yourself from the very breath of present life.
So, is not the zen-way the most appropriate way for a good life?
Don’t you think a retreat is a god sent opportunity for Human beings.