A pilgrim searching for true enlightenment

1001 Tales told by the Master

“Don’t start seeking, just start looking at what is the case. Looking into the reality as it is, is enough.”

man with horse in the snow

An old Zen story tells of a pilgrim who mounted his horse and crossed formidable mountains and swift rivers seeking a famous wise man in order to ask him how to find true enlightenment. After months of searching, the pilgrim located the teacher in a cave. The Master listened to the question and said nothing. The seeker waited.

Finally, after hours of silence, the Master looked at the steed on which the pilgrim had arrived, and asked the pilgrim why he was not looking for a horse instead of enlightenment.

The pilgrim responded that obviously he already had a horse. The Master smiled, and retreated into his cave.

Very indicative!

The Master said, “Why don’t you search for a horse? Why do you bother about Buddhahood?” And the man said, “What nonsense are you talking about? The horse is already with me. I have got the horse! Why should I seek it?” And the Master didn’t say anything – he simply smiled and retreated into his cave. Finished! He had given the answer.

You are a Buddha. You cannot search for it. That is the great declaration of all the great religions – that you are gods and goddesses in disguise, incognito. You have forgotten your own identity, you don’t know who you are. Hence all seeking. And sometimes you start seeking that which you are already. Then it is impossible to find… then frustration.

Don’t start seeking, just start looking at what is the case. Looking into the reality as it is, is enough. That is the meaning of Zen people when they say “Be herenow” – look into reality. Nothing is missing, all is already here. Listening to it, please avoid creating an ideal; otherwise your ideal will mislead you.

Osho, Zen: The Path of Paradox, Vol 3, Ch 10, Q 1

Series compiled by Shanti
All excerpts of this series can be found in: 1001 Tales

Featured image: photo by Jessica Knowlden on Unsplash

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