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Buddhadharma : Summer 2018
36 BUDDHADHARMA: THE PRACTITIONER’S QUARTERLY This, as Zhiyi puts it, is to “turn back the direction of one’s contemplation” and “contemplate that very mind that is engaged in contemplation.” It is self-reflection akin to what Master Dogen calls the “backward step” that “turns the light and shines it inward.” Zhiyi says what we find there is not some fixed “true nature” or “real essence”; what we find there defies all expression. What we find right here—in this who right now—cannot be captured, packaged, or conceptually conveyed. the sixth gate: no inside, no outside At the final gate, we’ve entered full realization. Insofar as there’s no trace of any self-centered effort, we’re back at stabilization. Underlying that stillness now, though, is the wisdom born of the transformation of the habits of body and mind. At this gate, there is no effort and no grasping. There is neither the grasping that we consciously experience nor the deep, automatic grasping at “self” and “other” that characterizes ordinary exis- tence. It’s not that we now “know” something that we didn’t before. Beyond subject and object, self and other, “knowing” has no bearing. As Zhiyi describes it, this dualistic structure that shapes our whole encounter with reality has collapsed. In short, we have arrived at liberation. We have arrived at the truly effortless. Time to stretch out for a nap in our huts? the wild garden of meditation Zhiyi’s sequential structure of the Six Gates is useful; it’s also consis- tent with the Anapanasati Sutta and a raft of other early teachings. But Zhiyi’s project also diverges from them. His is more expansive than a single perspective; his map covers much more than a single path.