What I wrote above, but in (almost) a nutshell: “Such experiences [are] wonderful and powerful when such occur, and each can be a great insight into and piercing of the “self-other divide”, “Emptiness” and impermanence, the underlying light, peace and harmony which can be found when the divisive mind is put aside.Bottomless, Boundless, pouring in and out of all things. … However [in Master Dogen’s way], reaching so is not the emphasis or central point. The best analogy I have for this is a universal “bus trip to visit the Grand Canyon”:
One cannot stay there, as lovely as it is. Nice and educational place to visit … would not, should not, could not truly live there. One can even live perfectly well never having visited the vast Canyon at all. The most important thing is to get on the bus, get on with the trip, get on with life from there. In our Soto Way, the WHOLE TRIP is Enlightenment when realized as such (that is the True “Kensho”!) … not some momentary stop or passing scene of wonder or some final destination .
For Soto folks, that is like missing the point of the trip. For Soto Folks, when we realize such … every moment of the Buddha-Bus trip, the scenery out the windows (both what we encounter as beautiful and what appears ugly), the moments of good health and moments of passing illness, the highway, the seats and windows, all the other passengers on the Bus who appear to be riding with us, when we board and someday when we are let off … the whole Trip … is all the Buddha-Bus, all Enlightenment and Kensho, all the “destination” beyond “coming” or “going” or “getting there”, when realized as such (Kensho). This ride is what we make it. The bus just us and us the bus.
– Jundo Cohen Roshi – August 4 2018