Zen enlightenment, which carries with it a deep and lasting comprehension of one’s place in the totality of the universe, is not easily gained — contrary to the impression of “immediacy” that many people have taken away from their cursory reading of Zen literature. Although illumination may come in a sudden flash, during which one perceives one’s “self” and the rest of the world as they really are, this galvanic charge is unlikely to occur short of an extended period of disciplined personal effort. The seeker, as one Zen master asserts, must pursue for a long time the problem of final “knowing” with a single-purposed ferocity and all the attendant frustrations of a “mosquito trying to bite on a bar of iron”
Nancy Wilson Ross, The World of Zen
After great pain, a formal feeling comes – (372)After great pain, a formal feeling comes –The Nerves sit ceremonious, like Tombs –The stiff Heart questions ‘was it He, that bore,’And ‘Yesterday, or Centuries before’?
The Feet, mechanical, go round –A Wooden wayOf Ground, or Air, or Ought –Regardless grown,A Quartz contentment, like a stone –
This is the Hour of Lead –Remembered, if outlived,As Freezing persons, recollect the Snow –First – Chill – then Stupor – then the letting go –