What Did Takuin Do?

This question was posed to me by Joe:

In retrospect, do you think anything you did ignited or prepared the stage for the explosion (referring to the event of December 1st, 2006)? Is there anything you can point to that seems like it helped?



There is really no way of knowing. There was certainly no physical progression or methodical structure planned in advance.

There was a time when I rejected everything to see what might be left over, if anything. But the problem with that was I never rejected my need for rejection. There was always someone still in charge of the whole thing.

The one rejecting might have been an essential part of it, but still, Takuin can not be sure.

Also in that same area, I stopped reading spiritual literature entirely. It is not that I didn’t want to be influenced by the speakers or their words. But in some way, I knew if I wanted to see this thing, I’d have to find it on my own.

Those teachers might have helped by telling me to find it on my own, but if I really wanted to do that, I’d have to drop them too.

I am not saying you need to do any of these things. But you may have to be creative. Really, no one can tell you how to do any of this. You have to be diligent, never looking away from what you are. It is not something you can do for just an hour a day on a cushion somewhere.

Alone Living

I grew up without philosophy, without religion, and without even atheism. We just lived. There may be something to that, but it is useless for others, really. If one tries to replicate those living conditions to achieve a state, it is just more conformity to an ideal.

I had goals to be this or that, but there was never a spiritual goal of any kind. I think it was more curiosity than anything; I was curious to see what was really there, and was not trying to achieve a state someone else told me was there. Even if someone told me, “So-and-so is enlightened,” what could I possibly do with that? Just smile and say, “OK.”

'Doing' is Never Enough

There was a time when I wanted to get high all the time, and so I did. There were times when I wanted to have sex all the time, and so I did. There were times I wanted to fight all the time, and so I did. And none of it went anywhere.

It was an unconscious exploration, you see, born out of conditioning, inadequacy, a need for control, and maybe even boredom. I cannot say it was completely useless, but the reasons behind it were neurotic and not sound. Certainly, Takuin as The Searcher was not to be trusted.

And now there is this life, and the searcher has long since died. Inebriation, fornication, and fighting have dropped away. Not because there is a person saying those activities must to be dropped, as that is more of the same nonsense. But the person that needed those activities to continue in order to make himself feel whole is no longer an issue.

All of this searching, this “I must be better tomorrow than I am today,” kind of thing is all self-centered activity. It is a desire to achieve what one believes to be the highest state. And don’t get me wrong, people can achieve that state. But that state is not freedom in any sense of the word. It is just the seemingly final brushstroke in the painting of the self.


This is a very…alone sort of life. Not lonely, but alone.

Alone-ness has nothing to do with loneliness, of course. It could also be called the ultimate intimacy.

There is a drawing in of breath, the exhalation, and so on. Like a small rock knocking into a cliff face as it falls; there is nothing, resounding, nothing, resounding, then nothing.

At the ending of all movement there is nothing; nothing to hold onto, and no real understanding of any-thing. But there is so much available energy there, as no-one is holding it down, suppressing, or controlling.

But all of this is not what you might think it to be. It is not even as I explain, so please do not make it into another 'thing' you want to acquire. This is your journey, and yours alone, and you'll see whatever it is for yourself.

Travel lightly. Look deeply.


Note: Parts of this post were taken from discussions on similar topics over the last year.