Life couldn't be any more straight forward. It is always staring us right in the eyes; it's our thinking that screens us from it.
What else could be more self-evident than the scent filling our nostrils or the beautiful sunset in front of us? The Dharma is always transmitting itself; in fact, the Dharma is the transmission. The clouds, grass, ants, and indigestion, these are all it. But spiritual people--often teachers, gurus, and other leaders--like to convolute matters with systems, levels, and worst of all, institutions.
The spirit of Chinese Chan Buddhism points to our lives at this very moment. It doesn't dawdle with unnecessary constructs. Just this, right now. What could be more direct?
And yet our minds, with their infinite doubts and criteria, insists this can't be it. The reality of the Buddha must be more...special, extraordinary. But why, why should waking up to reality be complicated? Our evaluating minds, ever accustomed to working for rewards, demand that reality be complex, and therefore, difficult to realize.
Nothing could be further from the truth. The only thing that is keeping us from seeing reality is the assumption that it's hidden. Because we don't like what's in front of us--it's too hot, or cold, or boring, or...--we reject it under the guise that there is some greater reality out there, hidden inside of or behind things.
"Buddha" means awakened one, a person who has woken up to the reality in front of him/her. No longer bedeviled by the mental phantoms that there is some greater, more fundamental truth obscured front them, Buddhas come and go with laundry in their hands and hunger in their bellies.
There is no need to complicate our lives by searching for the glasses that we are already wearing.