In the story of Nangaku, Baso was sitting. He claimed to be practicing zazen in order to attain enlightenment and become a Buddha. Nangaku picked up a tile and began to polish it. Baso was curious and asked Nangaku what he was doing. The reply from Nangaku was that he was polishing the tile so that it would become a jewel. Baso asked Nangaku how a tile could become a jewel and Nanguku responded, “how is it possible to become a Buddha by practicing zazen?”
Modern physics has confirmed that every single possibility exists NOW.
Sitting in zazen to become a Buddha is to have dualism. You are separated from your surroundings and the possibilities. When you are you, any possibility is available. It is all happening in the present moment. Shunryu Suzuki says in Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind, “When you start to wander about in some delusion which is something apart from yourself, then your surroundings are not real anymore, and your mind is not real anymore.” It is like trying to polish a tile so it will become a jewel.
The practice is to polish the tile, or in my case, paint the tile. It is not a matter of achieving anything at all. When you paint, paint. When you love, love. It is all possible. It is all NOW. Then there is no duality, simply being.