Stop Chasing Your Illusions

Excerpts from
To you
by Sawaki Kôdô Rôshi

Translated from Japanese by Jesse Haasch and Muhô

“People only keep themselves busy to avoid boredom.

Everybody complains that they’re so busy they haven’t got any time. But why are they so busy? It’s only their illusions that keep them busy. A person who practices zazen has time. When you practice zazen, you have more time than anyone else in the world.

If you aren’t careful, you’ll start making a big fuss just to feed yourself. You’re constantly in a hurry, but why? Just to feed yourself. Chickens too are in a hurry when they peck at their food. But why? Only to be eaten by humans.

How many illusions does a person create in their lifetime? It’s impossible to calculate. Day in, day out, “I want this, I want that…” A single stroll in the park is accompanied by 50,000, 100,000 illusions. So that’s what it means to be “busy”. “I want to be with you, I want to come home, I want to see you…”

People are constantly out of breath – from running so quickly after their illusions.

You want to reach nirvana to be liberated from your present life? It is exactly that attitude which is called “transmigration”.

The development of transportation has made the world smaller. Now we race around in cars, but where to anyway? To the arcade! We step on the gas, just to kill time.”


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