"If our practice is only a means to attain enlightenment, there is actually no way to attain it! We lose the meaning of the way to the goal. But when we believe in our way firmly, we have already attained enlightenment. When you believe in your way, enlightenment is there. But when you cannot believe in the meaning of the practice which you are doing in this moment, you cannot do anything. You are just wandering around the goal with your monkey mind. You are always looking for something without knowing what you are doing. If you want to see something, you should open your eyes."
Shunryu Suzuki, Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind
Substitute "enlightenment" with "salvation" if you wish.
The meaning of the practice? That nirvana, that the kingdom of God, is already here. That it is within us, and that we are within it. That we are imperfectly perfect as we are. No formal theology, no deep philosophy, no dogmatic litmus tests, no reject of spiritual depth, no achievement syndrome.
|English: The Valley of Moses in the Desert of Sinai (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
When you cannot believe in the meaning of the practice which you are doing, you are just wandering around looking for something without knowing what you are doing.
We are lost in the desert, looking for the Promised Land.