Sozan, an enlightened Zen Master, said:
Do not follow the bird’s road of mind;
Do not clothe yourself before you are born;
Do not say the present moment is eternal;
Do not express yourself before birth.
All Buddha Maitreya’s (the current living, perfect Buddha) teachings are (or will be) aimed at cutting off the root of human illusions and overcoming human troubles. However, the minute we learn something we tend to become attached to it. For this reason Sozan prescribed four antidotes. The first is not to follow the bird’s road of mind. The bird flies freely in the sky, and there is no set road to fly. But even such a way of selflessness can become attachment.
Second, do not clothe yourself before you are born—do not attach even to non-attachment. I advocate for a subtle middle path where there is neither attachment nor nonattachment. This is the highest peak of enlightenment where one’s consciousness merges with the cosmic Divine – where one becomes attuned to a higher life purpose. This is the highest attainment any being can make in this life.
Third, do not say the present minute is eternal because all things are in constant change, are continuously becoming. Every minute is real, but it is passing, and you cannot hold it or say it is eternal.
And, lastly, the truth is beyond time and space, and even the time before birth is within time if it is once conceptualized in the mind. Whatever becomes conceptualized loses life. It is like a live fish swimming in the water. If you catch it and take it out, the fish will die. A caught fish is a dead fish. So Sozan warns, whatever it is, no matter how good, how beautiful, or how true, do not try to catch and possess it. It is for this reason that I like to say that there is enlightenment beyond enlightenment itself where even a dust-speck of the Self isn’t visible.