Goso said, “When a buffalo goes out of its enclosure to the edge of the abyss, the horns and head and hoofs all pass through, but why can’t the tail also pass?”
—Gateless Gate, Case 38
To turn toward the difficult thing is usually a move of compassion. We think it’ll be a fierce warrior move, but it’s not, actually. And when we turn toward what’s difficult, it becomes mysterious and unknown and strange and interesting. Whatever it is, your dilemma—if you turn toward that, it’s to let the koan be there. So we stop trying to flee. And suddenly we’re at peace, and instead of it being the thing that we don’t want to do, it’s the gateway into freedom.