Zen Master Tenkei used to admonish his followers, “You should be genuine in all things. Nothing that is genuine in the world is not genuine in Buddhism, and nothing that is not genuine in Buddhism is genuine in the world.”

He would also say, “See with your eyes, hear with your ears. Nothing in the world is hidden; what would you have me say?”

Be Authentic

Zen Master Tenkei says that – Life is a hidden mystery, not a riddle. It has to be lived, not solved.

When he says that – You should be genuine in all things – means authenticity, to be true, not to be false, not to use masks. Whatsoever is your real face, show it…and at whatsoever the cost.

He says, Remember, that doesn’t mean that you have to unmask others. If they are happy with their lies it is for them to decide. Don’t go and unmask anybody, because this is how people think. They think they have to be truthful, authentic; they mean they have to go and make everybody nude – “Because why are you hiding your body? These clothes are not needed.” No. Please remember, be truthful to yourself. You are not needed to reform anybody else in the world. If you can grow yourself, that’s enough. Don’t be a reformer, and don’t try to teach others, and don’t try to change others. If you change, that’s enough of a message.

You are PHONY, not Authentic:

OUR WHOLE LIFE HAS BEEN A HELL. IT SEEMS SOMETHING HAS GONE WRONG FROM THE VERY BEGINNING. WE HAVE TRIED HARD TO LIVE AN HONEST MORAL AND RELIGIOUS LIFE, BUT WE HAVE NOT EVEN HAD A GLIMPSE OF WHAT TENKEI CALL BLISS. WHAT IS WRONG WITH US?

THE WAY THAT WE HAVE BEEN FOLLOWING is the way of being phony. That’s what is wrong with us – we are not authentic. We have not allowed ourselves to be ourselves; we are an imitator.

What do we mean? – FROM THE VERY BEGINNING WE HAVE TRIED HARD TO LIVE AN HONEST, MORAL AND RELIGIOUS LIFE…

How can we live a religious life? You don’t have any experience of God. Our religious life will be just a pseudo. We will imitate other people who you think are religious. And how are we going to decide whether they are religious or not? That too will be decided by the society.

We have been in a trap. We have lived according to the herd, you have lived according to the crowd, and the crowd means the lowest state of consciousness. To live according to the crowd means to live at the minimum. And the crowd is NOT interested in God. its morality is a social convenience – it is not real morality. Its morality is just a kind of lubrication; it helps people to be together. Its honesty is not true honesty – it cannot be.

We know the proverb: Honesty is the best policy. Now, to think of honesty in terms of policy is the beginning of being dishonest. Honesty is not a policy; it is not politics. Honesty is to live your life in freedom, in sincerity, naked; never to be false and never to pretend – that is honesty. Whatsoever the consequences – whether we are hated or loved, whether we are respected or disrespected, it doesn’t matter. An honest person is one who lives in his utter nakedness as God has created him.

He respects himself so much that he is ready to risk everything for it.

Learning from the story Hidden Mystery: Be Authentic

Experience Learning

We say we have lived very hard – honesty must have been an imposition on you, that’s why it looked hard. Otherwise, a really honest person never feels that way. Whatsoever he has to sacrifice for honesty, he sacrifices, but it is worth it. His joy is tremendous, his bliss is infinite. And the more he sacrifices, the more he gains the joy, the more he rejoices.

We say: WE HAVE TRIED TO LIVE AN HONEST, MORAL AND RELIGIOUS LIFE.

Yes, you must have lived in an arduous way, an ascetic way. You must have tried hard to cultivate a certain character. Bliss never arises in cultivated characters. Cultivated characters are phony, false, plastic – hence bliss cannot happen to them. A plastic flower cannot have any fragrance – only a real rose. But the real rose needs to be rooted in the earth; the real rose has to take all the risks of being real.

The false is very much protected. The real is exposed to the sun and the wind and the rain. To be real, that exposure is necessary. The plastic flower need not be exposed to wind, rain and sun; you can keep it inside your room. It needs no earth, it needs no roots – it needs nothing because it is false.

And it is eternal. The real rose is born in the morning sun and by the evening it is already disappearing. The real rose by the evening starts falling, the petals are falling. The real rose lives only for the moment, then it disappears. The real knows birth and death; the real lives in danger.

Your morality, your honesty, your religion, were not really a way of living a dangerous life, but, on the contrary, defence measures. You were creating a safe life for yourself, secure. That’s why you have missed.

Live in insecurity if you really want to live, and live truthfully. And when I say live truthfully, I don’t mean the truth that is taught by the Vedas or the Koran or the Bible – I simply mean: to be yourself is to be truthful, whatsoever you are. Don’t hide it, don’t deceive. Be exposed to the rain and the wind and the sun. There is danger, but in that very danger is joy, and in that very danger arises bliss – the fragrance of the rose.

You must have lived through the scriptures; that’s why millions of people go on trying hard to live a moral, religious life, and still never know what bliss is. They are living according to books; they never try to listen to their own still small voice. They have betrayed themselves, they have betrayed their God.

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