Nothing in this life is Zen. Not your assumed birth, nor an inevitable cessation of your present biological matrix.
One´s dreams, desires, ideas, and imaginations are not Zen. Faith in Zen, or the dharma, is not Zen. This world, or the perceived beyond, is not Zen, nor are the various bodily positions, or meditative states – Zen. No god, or God, is Zen or the root-source of zen. No Buddhas are zen. Nor any ritual of any sort or age of reverence is zen.
All this is merely relativistic existentialism, caused by incalculable, interdependent conditions, as a given seemingly instantaneous rendition of all the aforementioned at any given moment, of what is perceived as time, and as such, affecting a body consciousness caught in a perceived space-time bubble of no intrinsic reality.
Zen is therefore not space and much less time.
Zen is not in the perceived before, it is certainly not in the perceived now, and forever absent in the assumed tomorrow.
Zen is Mind Only. Your very own true self [nature]. These two words, spoken since beginningless time, in countless worlds, are so easy to read or hear, but to most, they are almost impossible to understand, and above all, perceive and realize directly beyond and through all phenomena.
Ponder this Mind for a while and you will see that despite being your root-source you cannot see it, you cannot touch it, or dream it and much less taste it, or hear it. Yet it is all present at all times. Ready to effectuate your slightest desire and thought, provided conditions are right.
Don’t misunderstand me. This Mind effectuates at all times. Instantaneously and faster than you can blink, or think. It is its own perfect Intelligence way before anything you can imagine, or see. At the beginning of your first awakening, this Mind of Zen is a pure light of an unknowable immensity, and despite its omniscient presence, it still holds a most sublime compassion, and wisdom, that validates your Spirit as your true nature.
It is then up to this nature, pervading your self, to know and validate itself to a degree your awakened Mind (Bodhi) can fully identify with this Mind of Zen and nothing else. Therein is the island Buddha asked you to take full refuge in. Where else would it be, this Island of permanence that stands against any form of aging, suffering and other karmic entropies?
When the pure luminosity of Zen finally emerges through the veil of all the aforementioned, you will certainly know it like hit by lightning. You will know it as you would instantly know the taste of water, or the faces of your parents in a vast crowd of people once you discover them.
At the ground and shore of that absolute reality, it is impossible to not know what has been present since beginningless time, yet obscured by all things mentioned earlier.
The worldlings speak of the void and emptiness so lightly but believe me when I say that this Great Mind of all Buddhas is anything but the aforementioned. It is basically, and indisputably, un-becomed, unborn, unconditioned, meaning in itself void of all conditions, yet it is at the core of its immense splendor, pure light of sheer actuosity. It is truly limitless Spiritual energy, a life-force, that is ever-present. IT alone contains what the Buddhas referred to as Noble Wisdom and IT alone SERVES as the ultimate source of your perfect refuge from all ignorance and suffering.
Standing before it, death has no dominion, and suffering is like a dissolved cloud of no more concerns. To be able to understand it intuitively is to SEE it AS IS. Thought and logic cannot see it or even sense it, for they are unreal in its presence, and the Real deals only with the Real – never illusions.
Again – that is its Noble Wisdom, which the ancients spent a great part of their lives to name, in so many ways, as to honor its radiance and perfection. Whenever a mind of sufficient gift, but still blind to its splendor, stumbled over the trees of its own makings, the Masters pointed with a finger towards the full moon encouraging the spiritually initiated to look at the Moon, and not at the finger, or the reflection in the pond.
They basically tried to awake the mind of the adept to its own true “body” that held the creation of past karma going, and vibrating as a psychobiological matrix which they reminded the adept had even given a name as to distinguish it from others during its everyday life. Your present karma has such a name. Do you recall the previous one, or the one before that?
With its mind firmly focused in one-pointed meditation, the adept came one day, intuitively, and directly face to face, to realize what held its body, in function. What enabled its walk and breathing. What moved its major and minor limbs, its inner organs and cells, and also what enabled artificial consciousness charged and vibrant with its converting function of what is a transformed version of Mind-Only as a Universe of appearing and disappearing phenomena. The adept gained the right view of having realized that the Real was since beginningless time standing imperviously free and bright “behind” the assumed solid Illusion of the False.
Without this Mind, the adept realized this Universe, as well as their own body consciousness, would instantly collapse and the remaining ambers fly away to become a new being, unaware for immense eons of time of its true Master and root source, yet forever supported by the latter in everchanging chain reactions, seen and experienced as birth, life, and death.
When the absolute reality of Mind Only shines through clearly, all sins are forgiven, for they are like an empty mass, subject to the gravity force of that black hole you know as Karma. Ponder this last statement carefully, for it effectuated your birth into this world and will actualize and effectuate your journey into the next [awaiting].
The Buddhas saw this and asked their students to drop all illusions and desires to anything conditioned, and subject to decay and cessation because, again, they declared, it is that mass of illusions that cause your rebirth into uncertain worlds, and bodies, through the pullback of an immense spiritual gravity well, of said black hole, which is not your true self but the evil that latches on the slightest thought, or desire, or deed, that cannot be put aside in favor of the pure Light of the Unborn Mind.
That Great Mind is a sheer permanent reality, beyond said illusory force, because it is in itself a REAL life-giving force which enables the slightest desire to come true, and in so doing, it becomes the very true force that instantly assures the destruction of any and all illusions at a given point of complete awakening.
Thus, to know Zen you have to un-become all illusions and embrace the Real which you do not understand by the veil of the Unreal, but certainly, recognize by the unmistakable grace of its own unquestionable presence.
This realization is the gateless (shining) gate of Zen. Passing through it is only possible by the man of no rank, and standing on the shores of nirvana where all Buddhas reside, is to know the true nature of Zen which is your true, deathless, self.
You have but to reach out and beyond the veil before your senses, memories, fears, dreams, and desires. It is not a leap of great faith, but one of right and direct knowledge (Prajna), and Right and irrevocable Release (Nirvana), from all phenomena of ignorance and suffering, so done by the infusion of the Noble Wisdom integrated into your true awakened self.
This Noble Wisdom is everpresent. No demon, god or Buddha can prohibit you from finding and use it to heal and awake yourself. The true YOU is IT and IT is YOU. You alone stand in the shadows of illusion and ignorance and you alone are the ONE that discovers and passes through the gateless gate of Zen.
It is therefore only this self that can stand firmly against the illusory reigns of space and time. As such having fully accepted and found perfect fulfillment and refuge in the foreverness of Zen – which we also know as Dharmakaya, or the Unborn Mind.