Reprinted with permission from "Mountain Record of Zen Talks," Dharma Communications

Most of the work [in Zen practice] takes place while sitting zazen, because inreality there's nothing anyone can give us. There's nothing that we lack.Each one of us is perfect and complete. That's why it is said that there areno Zen teachers and nothing to teach. But this truth must be realized byeach one of us. Great faith, great doubt, and great determination are threeessentials for that realization. It is a boundless faith in oneself and inthe ability to realize oneself and make oneself free, and a deep andpenetrating doubt which ask: Who am I? What is life? What is truth? What isGod? What is reality? This great faith and great doubt are in dynamic tensionwith each other, and work to provide the real cutting edge of koan practice*.When great faith and great doubt are also accompanied by great determination(the determination of "Seven times knocked down, eight times up"), we have atour disposal the power necessary to break through our delusive way ofthinking and realize the full potential of our lives.


*An apparently paradoxical statement of question used in Zen training toinduce in the student an intense level of doubt, allowing them to cut throughconventional and conditioned descriptions of reality and see directly intotheir true nature.