Much of our progress in Zen, I would argue, is an illusion. What I mean by this is that we imagine we are advancing, inch by inch, and getting somewhere, hopefully to win kensho (seeing true nature). But the sad truth is that we are not. What stops us is that we are fixed on a kind of subtle dogma or belief. As a result, we end up going around in circles.
It matters not whether the dogma or belief comes from outside of us from a Zen institution that we are involved with or inside of us as an opinion held by our personal conviction. This does not mean that truth as taken the place of error. Even if we go down the road of skepticism we are still left with nothing in the way of positive truth. We still have not arrived at the point, even with skepticism, where truth stands complete in itself so that we have no need of further negation. In a manner of speaking, we have not yet, completely, taken away the impurities so that only pure gold remains.
Our satisfaction is short-lived when we are left with skepticism. It means that we are unable to get beyond this kind of apprehension to a surer ground in which we see the world before us as a configuration of pure Mind. The barrier that stands in our way is always our opinions held by our personal conviction which act to determine our goal. Such conviction keeps a lock on genuine kensho that is seeing our true nature which is the goal of Zen.
Given up our deeply held opinions held by our personal conviction, only demands of us that our concern be with trying to see pure Mind which is another way of looking at kensho. This is a relentless, simple pursuit. Nothing is complicated. No beliefs or dogmas need be superadded. Even koans become unnecessary which were developed to put an end to the heavy influence of literati Zen. Even sitting in meditation is simplified when we try to see pure Mind. As with my example in 1969, seeing it is unmistakable. Such a Mind is truly empty and pure and luminous.