The four horses

The four horses (from GDP01b 00:05:03.00 - 00:08:23.00)

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And what I found is something that Suzuki Roshi writes about and I've talked to you about it before. There's a sutra in Theravadan tradition which describes four horses: the horse which gallops at the wish of the rider; the second horse gallops when he catches a glimpse of the whip out of the corner of his eye; the third horse gallops when he feels the pain of the whip on his body; the fourth horse doesn't gallop until he feels the pain of the whip in the marrow of his bones. And as Suzuki Roshi points out, when we hear this we want to be that first horse. Can't do that, then the second one. But then he points out that for the practice of Zen, it doesn't make any difference. And in fact, the fourth horse is actually the best one, because when you really are struggling to use your practice in the depths of your confusion and reactivity, then it's real. And I've observed this. Many, many people I've met, who seem to have a much easier time with practice, and most of them are missing something.

So, don't look for a form of practice which makes things easier. Actually you want to look for a form of practice, not necessarily which makes things harder--that's not so productive--but brings you in touch with where you are most confused. It's not the same thing. This is a form of practice that is suitable for you.