Concerning the view of practice with regard to meditation it is at first theoretical which can involve a great amount of careful study to get the adept to a point where he or she understands what the goal of meditation is. It is not just rote learning such as memorizing the words of the Buddha. Nor is it just sitting like a bump on a log. It is much more.
We have to learn what we are trying to achieve inwardly. The path is not external. While it’s about seeing our true nature or the same, mind before it is stirred and disturbed (in its pristine state) we have to be thoroughly convinced that this is the right target. If we are not fully convinced we will not become true practitioners. We will never cross the sea of birth and death to see that immortal land.
In my own example, it took about four years to finally be convinced that the goal is seeing my pure Mind, directly. Logic and reasoning were helpful, but I had to make the leap, so to speak, into the mystical abyss. I had to see this mysterious pure Mind first hand. When we get to this point we have passed beyond the theoretical. We are now true practitioners. Jōshū became such a practitioner when he said:
“Even with a seven-year child, if he is superior to me, I shall follow him and beg for his teaching.”
At that time his thirst was not directed to the outward temporal life or the flesh but, instead, to direct comprehension of spirit, that is, pure Mind which was still hidden deep within him.
Today, people are not all that interested in seeing who they really are. They don’t seem all that concerned with existential questioning. It is like their minds have been taken over by some terrible demon. In all of my born years I have never seen anything quite like it.