There is a Zen story which goes as follows:
Keiji, a long-time Zen student, approached his master and said: “I don’t see how there can be any enlightenment that sets you free once and for all. I think we just get ever greater glimpses of Buddha-nature, the vastness that is our true Reality. It’s an ever-expanding process.”
The master, looking penetratingly at Keiji, replied. “That may be what you think. But what is your experience, your experience right now?” Keiji looked momentarily confused. “My experience right now, Master?” “Yes. Do you know yourself as Keiji, having ever-expanding experiences of Buddha-nature? Or do you know yourself as Buddha-nature, having the experience of Keiji?”
The Master hits the nail on the head by asking Keiji the question, “Right now who is experiencing what?”
If we see ourselves as lone individuals (defined by our names) experiencing this daunting and confusing world outside, ever changing before our eyes, then truly we will be overwhelmed with fear and doubt.
But if we can ‘Know’ our unified centre and look out from that. See that we are ‘Oneness’ manifesting all that appears – which includes ourselves – how can we then feel separate, alone, confused and all those qualities we attribute to pain of a separate individual?
The irony is that we once knew this. Not even knew it – we lived it. Somewhere along the way we forgot our true place – stepped out from our Garden of Eden.
But we haven’t gone anywhere, everything is just as it is waiting to be recognised once more. So open your eyes – now!