The only reason why we are still here,
is because we believe there is a reason to be here.
So why are we still swimming in the sea of samsara?
Nirvana manifests as ease,
as unshakable freedom.
This isn’t watering down nirvana.
This is the reality of liberation that we can experience,
sometimes in a moment and sometimes in transformative ways that change our entire life.
No words can describe it
No example can point to it
Samsara does not make it worse
Nirvana does not make it better
It has never been born
It has never ceased
It has never been liberated
It has never been deluded
It has never existed
It has never been nonexistent
It has no limits at all
It does not fall into any kind of category.
Samsara is essentially not any fixed place or realm,
for it is any state of mind filled with attachment,
aversion and delusion.
As the enlightened have no attachment,
aversion and delusion, they are forever free of the samsaric,
and are never really “in” Samsara,
even as they “enter” Samsara to aid beings truly “in” Samsara to be free of attachment, aversion and delusion.
It is thus an error to imagine that the enlightened suffer in Samsara when they remain or return to Samsara to help relieve suffering – for, once again, Samsara is not a place.
Being enlightened is also to be free of all suffering – wherever one is.
All beings that have lived and died and been reborn coutless times.
Over and over again they have experienced the indescribable Clear Light.
But because they are obscured by the darkness of ignorance,
they wander endlessly in samsara.
A soldier named Nobushige came to Hakuin and asked:
“Is there really a paradise and a hell?”
“Who are you?” inquired Hakuin.
“I am a samurai”, the warrior replied.
“You, a soldier!” sneered Hakuin,
“What kind of ruler would have you as his guard? You look like a beggar”.
Nobushige became so angry that he began to draw his sword.
Hakuin continued: “So you have a sword!
Your weapon is probably to dull to cut off my head.”
Nobushige drew his sword.
Hakuin remarked: “Here open the gates of hell!”
At these words the samurai, perceiving the master’s discipline,
put away his sword and bowed.
“Here open the gates of paradise”, said Hakuin.