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Where is the sky? A Zen tale

Once upon a time...
A warrior, a samurai, went to see the Zen Master Hakuin and asked him:
“Does hell exist? Does heaven exist? Where are the doors leading to them? Where can I get in from?”
He was a simple warrior. Warriors are always simple, without cleverness in their minds, without mathematics. They only know two things: Life and death. He hadn't come to learn any doctrine. He only wanted to know where the doors were to avoid going to hell and going to heaven.
Hakuin replied in a way that only a warrior could have understood:
“Who are you?”, Hakuin asked him.
“I'm a samurai”, answered the warrior, “even the Emperor respects me”.
Hakuin laughed and answered: “A samurai? You? You seem to be a beggar”.
The samurai felt hurt in his pride and forgot why he had come. He took out his sword and he was about to kill Hakuin when the latter said:
“This is the door to hell. This sword, this rage, this ego open the door for you”.
This is what a warrior can understand. The samurai immediately understood. He put the sword again in his belt and Hakuin said: “Here is when the doors to heaven open”.
Mind is heaven, mind is hell and the mind has the capacity to become any of them. But people keep on thinking that they do exist somewhere outside themselves...

Heaven and hell are not at the end of life, they are here and now. Doors open all the time... and you can go from heaven to hell and from hell to heaven in a second.

You are the deep wish that moves you.
Such your wish, such your will.
Such your will, such your acts.
Such your acts, such your destiny.
-Brihadaranyaka Upanishad IV.4.5.

 “Whenever a man decides to learn he has to try as hard as he can and the limits of his learning are determined by his own nature. Therefore, it makes no sense to talk about knowledge. Fear of knowledge is natural; all of us experience it and there is nothing we can do about it. But no matter how fearsome learning is, the idea of a man without knowledge is more dreadful”.
Castaneda, from Las enseñanzas de Don Juan (Don Juan's teachings)

Dr. Cecilia Y. Cáceres