Once you have deeply experienced and realized the oneness of yourselves, the universe, and the many things, the Zen path calls you to the forge of the ancestors. By using your buddha-eye, that is, your observing prajna, you apply yourselves to discerning the wisdom of buddhas and Zen ancestors. That is how you become proficient in the skills of helping all beings, which is now your true task.
Good friends, the study of the verbal teachings of buddhas and Zen ancestors has always been an integral part of Zen. Unfortunately, Zen has often been maligned as anti-scholastic, and even anti-rational. This has resulted partly from institutions and false teachers with agendas other than the spiritual promotion of the community.
The training that we undertake to directly experience supreme, fully perfected enlightenment sometimes makes use of our good spiritual friends and sometimes makes use of sutras. ‘Our good spiritual friends’ refers to the Buddhas and Ancestors, those who have completely realized their True Self. ‘Sutras’ is a technical term for Scriptural texts, which are spiritually complete in and of Themselves. Because Self Nature is what all Buddhas and Ancestors are and because Self Nature is what all Scriptures are, this is the way all things are. We speak of Their ‘Self ’, but It is a Self that is beyond any adherence to ‘self and other’, for It is Their penetrating Eye, Their emancipating Fist.
~Shobogenzo, Kankin, Hubert Nearman