Zen student Lingyun spent thirty years looking for a true master. He rounded a bend, and on the opposite wall of the canyon there was a peach tree in blossom. No veil separated him from them, and suddenly the peach blossoms were him. The tree, the river, the birds, the sunlight, the morning cold—everything was peach blossoms. He laughed out loud- “just this!”
Our restless “monkey-minds” creates various distraction. This is not just a modern obsession. According to Buddhism, it is ego’s fundamental defense mechanism. What we are distracting ourselves from — what we are protecting ourselves against — is the open space and full intensity of reality. But what happens when we stop protecting ourselves in such a way? Our experience might look a bit like that of the Zen pilgrim Lingyun.