In the practice of the highest supreme wisdom, it is most difficult to meet prominent masters. Whether men or women, they must be those who have realized something indescribable…. This is the realization of the essence of the way. Therefore, they lead and benefit others, setting aside no causality or making no difference between the self and others.
Once we have met a master, we must practice the way, aloof from worldly relations and grudging a spare time, even in thinking, non-thinking and neutral thinking. Therefore, we should train ourselves as single-heartedly as if we were saving our head from a burning fire. A Zen master who has dropped away his body and mind is none other than ourselves.
It is inevitably by sincerity and piety that we realize and receive the essence of our master’s Law. These qualities neither come from outside nor rise from inside, but from attaching more importance to the law than to our body, or from renouncing the world and entering the way. If we attach a little more importance to our body than to the law, we shall be unable to realize and receive the way. …. When someone has realized the great law and the essence of the Buddhas and patriarchs, we serve him, reverently prostrating ourselves….
Sakyamuni-Buddha said: “When you meet a master who expounds the supreme wisdom, do not consider his birth (poor or wealthy), look at his appearance, nor dislike his faults or worry about his behavior. Rather, out of respect for his great Wisdom, treat him with a large sum of money or celestial meals and flowers, or reverently prostrate yourself before him three times a day, giving him no cause for worry; and you will surely find the supreme transcendental-wisdom.”
Both men and women can realize the way. In any case, the realization of the way should be respected, regardless of sex. This is an extremely excellent rule in the way…. Even a little girl of seven can become the teacher of the four classes of Seekers … If she practices and realizes the law … we should make a venerative offering to her as if to the Buddhas.