The state of never-going, never-returning
A monk asked his Zen Teacher, “What do you think of a monk who goes from the monastery and never returns?”
The Teacher replied, “He is ungrateful.”
The student then asked, “What do you think of a monk who goes out of the monastery but comes back again?”
The Teacher said, “He remembers the loving-kindness.”
A spiritual home?
The monastery was the spiritual home where one attained Realization. I don’t know if this is still the case as we are now living at times when almost everyone in the world have become godless, and topics regarding the subjects of God-knowledge are no longer to be heard even in the so-called places of worship. Everything has become so tailored to fit the fads of the popular cultures.
The tradition was, when an individual entered the monastery, it was because of the Teacher there, not because of the building or the institution itself; this is in sharp contrast in modern civilizations. Now all forms of seeking, worship and reverence for That have become diverted towards the service of the lower modes of life – materialism, the body, vain glory and so on. This means that the modern preacher deceives his followers not because he is aware of it, but, rather, because the followers demand deception. This is the new world order of modern religion and spirituality – where the road to help has colossal traffic than it used to be.
The teaching of perfect enlightenment, or Truth, has no form or color; so how is this formless and colorless Teaching to be seen and understood? This is the single reason why paganism always win because the people of the world are easily attracted and lured by the decorated superficial ‘methods’ and ‘techniques’ for attaining Thatness. This is also highly attributable to the inbuilt selfishness of the human mind where it becomes painful to adhere to the Right Way. Its ridiculous how easily men become so flattered to think they are anywhere near Godness when in the real sense they have made no effort whatsoever to eliminate their blemishes and spiritual faults.
In Zen, as in all essence of true Awakening, Self-Realization is understood through the character of the Teacher who is an exemplar of Good Knowledge. When one attains Realization by meeting the Perfect Knowledge, he and the Teacher are one in the unsurpassable Truth-realization, so there is really no going or returning. There is no graduation in perfect Enlightenment.