Once my capacity to read was activated, the First Ancestor gradually exposed me to more and more words in various contexts and higher degrees of difficulty. With his guidance, and my own continuous practice, my ability to read progressed. As my ability to read progressed–sometimes slow and steady, sometimes with sudden leaps–the ability to process what was being read also advanced.
The First Ancestor pointed out how enlightening my mind through the practice of reading demonstrated the nondual relationship of practice and enlightenment. He helped me realize that the transference of meaning from the books to my mind was simultaneously practice (reading) and enlightenment (discerning). They only occur together, yet they maintain their separateness; reading is not discerning, and discerning is not reading.
Good friends, this is similar to discovering the innate working of your own true nature. You must learn to apply your newfound ability to the various teachings of buddhas and Zen masters. As your skill increases–sometimes slow and steady, sometimes with sudden leaps–your ability to enact the wisdom of practice and enlightenment advances. This is the true meaning of the Zen tradition of mind to mind transmission, which is the nondual activity of practice and enlightenment. The transmission of wisdom from the buddhas and Zen masters to the Zen practitioner is simultaneously practice and enlightenment. They only occur together, yet they maintain their separateness; practice is not enlightenment, and enlightenment is not practice.