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There is nothing real to seek 'out there'...
Harada Roshi

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The practice of zazen seems in many peoples minds to be linked with enlightenment. However if we look closely at the overwhleming majority of people who apply themselves assiduously to this practice we find that they are not in the least bit enlightened at all. Why is this?

As hard as it is to train for many years and the mind not opening, just as huge is the joy when the mind does open.

The trainees in the olden days deeply believed in the awakened mind and devoted themselves their energy to the practice day and night. In the Zenkan Sakushin (Incentives for Breaking Zen Barriers) you can read more about this.
But nowadays people are so distracted by outside things, that they cannot train in a focused, straight forward way. This shows how many distractions there are outside.

I have to excuse myself for talking about myself, but when I was in the monastery, I would not read neither any newspaper nor any other books but Zen texts. Standing, sitting, seeing, hearing – only concentration on the movements of the body. Since I could not break through, I decided that I should die. So I walked in the mountain, searching for the right time and place to die. Since I was so involved in planning my time of dying, I had no interest in the outside world. Like a sick person with high fever. There was nothing left that could scare me. I would only experience the world straight through my eyes, my ears, my senses.
Then a person of training came by, looking at me sitting Zazen with envy, saying that I was so lucky to have this chance, and there for the first time I completely experienced myself alive. We have to completely put our life on the line for our mind to awaken.

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