GENJŌ-KŌAN NO. 3 [2?]
Wednesday, August 23, 1967
Sesshin Lecture No. 4 [sic]
Zen Mountain Center, Tassajara
Edited by Brian Fikes (Not Verbatim, the tape is no longer available)
Buddhism is not any special teaching, and enlightenment is not any particular stage that you attain. When you understand your life completely, that is enlightenment. So though the approach to it is not the same, as long as you study sincerely, you will reach the same goal. You may think you have discovered a new teaching, but almost all the teachings we discover have already been discovered by Buddhist teachers. You may say Buddhism is the accumulation of our human experience. So whatever you make effort on, there is the way.
Some people are always trying to discover some particular way for themselves. That is not the true way to study; this kind of idea is utterly wrong. So we say, “Don’t seek for any particular enlightenment.” Enlightenment is not something particular. When you start to study Buddhism, thinking that it is good to expect that Buddhism will give you some particular teaching, if you cannot satisfy your expectations, you will give up. This is not how we study.