During the retreat of 1684 at the Kōrin-ji, I [Itsuzan] had an enlightenment experience one morning at dawn in the Zen hall. I went to the master for a personal interview and said "Until now, i trusted implicitly in what you have taught us. I was deceived by your words. But now, today, i have attained a full and direct understanding of the matter of my self, without any reliance on your teachings. Yet everything is just as you have been telling us every day. It is impossible to put it into words."

"You don't have to," Bankei said. "I know all about it."

I said, "You have always said that there is no final great enlightenment. But from where i stand today, I can see that the only way that the Dharma can be known is for each person to grasp it for himself. When Rinzai was in Ōbaku's assembly, he asked three times about the essence of the Buddha Dharma, and each time he was struck by Ōbaku, without coming to any realization. But when he visited Daigu, and Daigu spoke a single word to him, he had a satori and said, "There isn't much to this Buddha Dharma of Ōbaku's." That was Rinzai's self-understanding.

Bankei said, "Because they are ancient masters, you feel that there is something special about them. But they are no different from people today. Rinzai's satori at the hands of Daigu was his entrance into enlightenment. All true practicers, whether they lived in the past or whether they lived today, experience such an entrance. But if you stop there, you content yourself with a small attainment. Unless you are very careful after you experience the first satori, it is extremely difficult for you fully to perfect your Dharma eye.

I replied, "I certainly do not question what you say. But right now, i have not a shadow of doubt about the Dharma. There is no way i could possibly acquire any greater strength that i have right at this moment."

Bankei said, "It is easy to reach the place where you are now. To be free of doubt. To have no more questions. But the Dharma is unfathomably deep. The Buddha-wisdom is unfathomably profound. The further your penetrate, the deeper it is. It's for a reason I have never in my life been able to bring myself to speak a few words and confirm great enlightenment in someone. I think about their future and the path that lies before them."