The Lesser Vehicle

"The Lesser Vehicle" number 28 of 200 from Robert Aitken's book Miniatures of a Zen Master.

Aitken Roshi looks at the heart of the greater vs. lesser vehicle dichotomy in Buddhism. He states it in a interesting way.
"Why do you seek to arouse the aspiration of your students by encouraging self-improvement when fundamentally there isn't any enduring self to begin with?"

Aitken is questioning why some teachers encourage self-improvement and by extension, why some students develop self-improvement.
This seems a bit odd for a teacher with so many psychoanalysts as

This all seems a bit rhetorical though maybe not. Our practice is a bit of a balancing act. Sure, just as Old Man Linchi would say, there is nothing to do, nowhere to go. In this very body, with this very mind, in this very moment, you are Buddha.

Yet, just to say that is evidence of delusion.

We have our practice, our sangha, all the teachings, the precepts... all for encouragement, companionship and just a bit of good old fashioned self-improvement. This is all skillfully designed to help examine our life, reality as it is. In essence to wake up from a dream. To be ignorant of our personal foibles is to wallow in our delusion. To notice this short comings is to wake up a little bit. If self-improvement fosters this, upaya!

Riding the knife edge between 'always am Buddha' and practice and precepts. Not holding to one or the other. This weblog full of talk, talk, talk. My personal foible plain and clear.