“The full-grown man aspires to pierce through the heavens: Let him not walk in the footsteps of the Buddha!”
This is not a warning against irreverence. We have heard this common theme before. We can walk in the footsteps of the Buddha all we want, but the path he took is not the path we must follow to attain enlightenment.
To understand this concept is to know we must find our own paths to enlightenment, but do so without looking for the path. The best athletes do not think about how great they must be while playing, they are so in the game, they call it “being in the zone”. In this way, they are Buddhas on the ice, the court, the field and so on.
All we are working towards is being “in the zone” in our daily lives. Being so involved with each moment that we are great at it. In Chinese, wushu describes martial skill while kungfu describes skill in general. We need our kungfu to be great. If we are chefs, we need our kungfu to be great. If we are janitors, we need our kungfu to be excellent. Some call this “taking pride in our work”. This is admirable, however it is even better to be great at each thing we do for the sake of each thing we do. Pride is a temporary feeling that feeds the ego.
Have great kungfu in all you do. This is the awakening.