Tomorrow Is Too Late

by on Sep 2, 2013Zen Master Wu Bong

Nobody guarantees our life. So if there is anything that you think may be useful, just now is the time to use it. In our life, past mind cannot be attained. Present mind cannot be attained. If you say present, it is already not present, already gone. If you lose this moment, you can never regain it.
We follow Buddha’s example. Buddha means awakened. If you are going to awaken, tomorrow is too late. One hour from now is also too late. Even one second from now is too late. Just this moment, wake up. I hope each of you will make correct practice in your life and attain this wake-up. Then one more step is most important: use this wake-up to help all beings.
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The only thing, the only true thing, that we ever have is this moment. The past we cannot touch. The future we cannot grasp. And if we try to catch the present, i’s already gone.
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We do not need something special, some great teaching from someone. What we need to do is cultivate the question, the fire, that we all have within, and not let it go out. All the wisdom is already there.
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Try, try, try. Do not check your feelings. Do not check your understanding. Can you swim? Yes, that is good. Could you swim the first time you entered water? So what happened in between not being able to swim and swimming? Tha’s right: practice. It is the same with saving all beings. Decide this, then try, try, try, and one day you will completely attain it.
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Each time you are faced with this kong-an situation, i’s new. I’s just now. So it doesn’t matter if you answered before, or didn’t answer before. Even if you start thinking, How did I answer before? tha’s already a mistake. I’s this moment. I’s new. Even if you had this question a hundred times, and you answered a hundred times, and you remember the answer, answer this moment. This moment is very important.
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What is important is not small don’t know, what is important is big don’t know. If you have this great question, then this big don’t know will appear. This big don’t know means your mind becomes more clear, and when this mind becomes clear then everything becomes clear. Then correct action, correct speech, all can appear.
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If you continue to return to this don’t know, then this don’t know will start to grow up. Then slowly, slowly your desire, anger and ignorance will become less and less and less. Then continue to practice, which means to continue to return to this don’t know, then one day—boom—infinite in time and infinite in space! Then you can say Aha! Everybody is getting older every moment; maybe soon this body will die. Before this body dies, one time this Aha! is necessary.
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Everybody wants peace, but everybody wants my idea of peace. Then you cannot have peace. But when I take away my idea, then already the whole world is at peace.
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You look at this wall, then you and the wall become one. You look at the sky, then the sky and you become one. That means: nothing in between. No I, my, me in between. That is very important, because in this world we have many problems. If we look at these problems, what causes them? If you go deeper and deeper, then finally you find three things that are causing these problems: I, my, me.
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I wish for you to make correct practicing in your life. Then moment by moment become more clear, and finally one day be- come completely clear, attain enlightenment and save all beings from suffering. And do it quickly!
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Keeping a don’t know mind means cutting off all thinking. Cutting off all discursive thoughts takes us to the wellspring of our true nature and brings us to the present moment. What are you doing just now? Paying attention to this moment is what Zen practice is all about.
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You take anything that you cannot do, then you try, try, try, and then you can do it. So today you cannot do this moment-to-moment, then you try, try, try, then you can do it. Actually already you can do it! Because you can do it for a few seconds, right? Can you do it for a few seconds? Just try. There you go. But even two seconds is not necessary. Even one second is too long. It is enough to keep clear just for one moment. Everybody can. One moment and then again one moment and then again one moment. Then many moments, then a whole day. This practice is very easy.
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While there are many approaches to practicing, practicing with a sangha—together action—is the most powerful. It forces us to confront our limitations, which in turn helps us to overcome our limitations. In the Heart Sutra it says, The Bodhisattva depends on Prajna Paramita and the mind is no hindrance; without any hindrance no fears exist. This no fear is our human heritage. If you like this, then throw away all thinking; throw away all liking and disliking; throw away even the most pro- found understanding.
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These words are just expedient means to help our life, to help our practice. The next step is to leave these words behind, and simply to do it.

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