In the early days of the Meiji era there lived a well-known wrestler called O-nami, Great Waves.
O-nami was immensely strong and knew the art of wresting. In his private bouts he defeated even his teacher, but in public was so bashful that his own pupils threw him.
A wrestler called O-nami, meaning the great waves, was immensely strong and technically sound with the moves of wrestling. His physical strength and the techniques were so sharp, that he would defeat even his teacher, not to mention the fellow wrestlers in the private bouts.
The story was altogether different when the bouts happened in public. Even the even his own pupils would throw him. The fear to be in public seemed to work on this physically strong and so sound with sharp techniques of wrestling art. However a man may be strong physically and endowed with the sharpest of the techniques in any field, it loses it's importance when the strength draining impulses or feelings like fear attacks the system. Out of fear the body would tremble the wits will lose it's sharpness, all the hard work done for years for physical strength and sharpening of the techniques, vanishes in moments.
That's the reason more emphasis should be put on the strength of being along with the strength of physic and strength of technique. Unless freed from feelings and impulses that drains the strength.
O-nami felt he should go to a Zen master for help. Hakuju, a wandering teacher, was stopping in a little temple nearby, so O-nami went to see him and told him of his great trouble.
The great waves felt he should go to a Zen Master for help. Perfectly a right decision. He has already trained under a reputable instructor dealing with techniques and physical strength. He himself is an instructor. A Zen Master or a spiritual master is the one who carries the spiritual wealth that washes away the negative impulses and feelings. The presence, the grace, the divine love, the compassion of the Spiritually perfect Master is most important for washing away impulses like fear. Hakuju was a wondering teacher. Some Zen Master wanders from place to place bestowing their grace and compassion to the ones who receptive. O-nami was in the receptive state humble with no pride of strength or sharpen techniques. He really needed the help and hence was humble at heart and mind. With a receptive and humble heart and mind, he presented his problem to the Zen Master.
A receptive and humbleness is the most essential quality one requires when seeing a spiritual perfect master. A mind puffed with pride of it's own accomplishments, or a mind that goes with the attitude i know a lot or i am something would definitely come without gaining much. It's like pouring water in already filled cup, most poured water will overflow, the rest gets contaminated with the water already present inside.
"Great Waves is your name," the teacher advised, "so stay in this temple tonight. You are no longer a wrestler who is afraid."
The master advises him to stay in the temple. Near his overflowing presence. This one might be overlooked and the technique given by the Master would be pondered upon by the most readers. The real secret lies in this short advise most than what has to follow. A temple is a sacred place were much is done to evoke the sacred energies. Moreover wherever a Master is the sacredness flows in torrents. Only a receptiveness and humbleness is required. Not humble and i know much will not find much there. There would not be much difference for the one to be in presence of Master, in temple or in market place. In fact a market place would be much comfortable and friendly.
For humble, receptive and with faith, the presence of the Master is a place overflowing with great treasure. The treasure that would fill the one with grace, love compassion and bliss. Removing feelings like anger, fear, frustration and such.
Then the Master provides him with a simple technique.
"Imagine that you are those billows."
Looks simple but if one tries to put it in practise it becomes apparent that that's not so simple as it looks. The thought process one has been with attacks and takes away one from feeling the of raging waves. The mind has this quality of wandering in the known. Of what it has already known and feels most comfortable with the known. It fears with something new.
"You are no longer a wrestler who is afraid."
This one is difficult too. Losing the identity. Nobody would like to lose the identity one has build up. That holds much importance. A wrestler, a scientist, a thinker, a rationalist, a businessman every body would cling to their identity. Letting go of the identity and be receptive and open, to be intelligent in that sense is also a huge arduous task.
For the wrestler who approached the Master it shouldn't be that arduous. He is there to get free from the fear. And with that fear the identity of the wrestler has also to be given up. It would have been much difficult for a successful wrestler. Rather a successful wrestler would least care going to the Master, be with his fears and enjoy the success.
"You are those huge waves sweeping everything before them, swallowing all in their path. Do this and you will be the greatest wrestler in the land"
If the above mentioned hurdles are absent or weak, there should be no problem for the elimination of the fear through the presence of the Master grace.
The teacher retired.
This one is a paradox. Physically it may seen that the teacher is retiring, but He never retires. The flow of grace, love and compassion is ever flowing through Him. The greatest of the forces for the receptive is always at work, it does not require and rest and never retires.
O-nami sat in meditation trying to imagine himself as waves. He thought of many different things. Then gradually he turned more and more to the feeling of waves.
Onami sat and made the effort of imagine himself as great waves sweeping everything. The force of the conditioned thoughts would not allow it in the beginning. Gradually he turned more and more towards the feeling of waves. Just imagination or thoughts are not of much importance. The feel, one should be so one with the thoughts, that the thoughts disappears. The totality is and intensity is most important. The waves does not think, they just flow with vigor. The actual feeling of the waves is required and he was turning towards the same.
As the night advanced the waves became larger and larger. They swept away the flowers in their vases. Even the Buddha in the shrine was inundated. Before dawn the temple was nothing but the ebb and flow of an immense sea.
As the night advance, with the help of overflowing grace of the Master, the identity of the wrestler was lost. Only the waves were their. There was no self centered self meddling with the waves. Hence the waves became bigger and bigger. The waves cannot get bigger it the self centered identity is there. The mind would be occupied in solving the problems identified with the self. Since there were only the waves they swept away everything. Before the dawn there was nothing but the sea.
This could be also understood symbolically. The waves is the grace of the Master. Felling the grace the grace takes over wrestler's identity. Along with the identity everything negative with that identity is lost. Only the grace, the divine love and compassion remained. The fear was of the wrestler, since the wrestler was not there and only the powerful grace was working, it took care of sweeping away everything. Nothing but the grace, the divine love and compassion was present.
In the morning the teacher found O-nami meditating, a faint smile on his face. He patted the wrestler's shoulder. "Now nothing can disturb you," he said. "You are those waves. You will sweep everything before you."
The next morning the Master saw the disciple immersed in the meditation. The mind that thought itself as a wrestler and that was afraid was not present there. A new spiritual mind filled with spiritual strength, Divine love and compassion was there. The old fearful mind had died. This brought about a faint smile on Masters face, whose heart is still sending the strong waves of compassion and divine love. He knew nothing could disturb this new mind. The wrestler himself had become the master. He would not just sweep away the opponents in Wrestling matches, but would sweep away the fears of many. A perfect wrestler in true sense.
The same day O-nami entered the wrestling contests and won. After that, no one in Japan was able to defeat him.