Zen Master Bassui developed great faith in the bodhisattva Kannon, the Bodhisattva of Compassion (Avalokitesvara in Sanskrit). The name, meaning the one who hears the cry of the ordinary people and immediately saves them.
Bassui referred to Kannon, as described in the Surangama Sutra:
"He was a person who for every sound he heard, contemplated the mind of the hearer, realizing his own nature."
Listening now, drop the listener, and simply allow hearing to be present.
Who is hearing?
This beautiful practice, so simple, presents us with every opportunity for self inquiry, in every moment of our life. Whether it be hearing the sound of the wind, the song of birds, the rumble of a storm, or the sound of our own breath.
On discovery of this simple practice of Avalokitesvara, I adopted it myself.
Every moment becomes an opportunity for inquiry, leading us to the realisation of our own True nature. The whole of life becomes our contemplation, the inquiry.
What a gift.
Listen, who is hearing?
Read ‘Contemplating Who Am I’ — a collection of quotes by Ramana Maharshi and two Zen Masters: Bassui Tokusho and Yasutani Roshi on the subject of how to contemplate who am I as the most direct means to Self Realization.