Disclose Yourself

Zen teaching is always encouraging us to let go, to open, to present ourselves, to expose ourselves, to disclose ourselves.

There are two aspects of the disclose-yourself Zen practice. One is to disclose yourself in front of yourself; let yourself see your guts and your — the whole business. That is why, for example, when we sit meditation the instructions are always, Don’t push anything away. Just be with each thing, become one with every thing as it unfolds, but do not cling to it, do not hold it. Let it come and let it go, just as a mirror lets red and white come and go. Disclose yourself to yourself.

The second aspect is to disclose yourself to the other person. Be open; do not hold back. You see that emphasized in formal Zen training during the interview between teacher and student. Sometimes the student will come in and present an answer to a kong-an, but the teacher will say, “Even if that answer were correct, it is not correct.” That means you have not completely presented yourself as that answer. Or the teacher might say, “I can’t believe that, even if it is correct.” Other times the teacher will say to the student, “If only you believed that!” This is an encouragement to disclose yourself, to expose yourself, to reveal yourself, and do not hold back.