“…directly reach the middle of the circle
from where light issues forth”
Zen Master Shitou has said, “Turn around the light to shine within and then just return.” In his Practice Instructions Zen Master Hongzhi makes similar suggestions, urging practitioners to “take the backward step and directly reach the middle of the circle from where light issues forth,” and elsewhere to “turn with-in and drop off everything completely, and realization will occur.”
The backward step of turning the light to shine within, directing one’s attention to observe closely one’s own awareness, is a basic Zen meditation technique, called eko hensho in Japanese.
Dogen says it is necessary to put aside practice based on intellectual understanding, pursuing words and following after speech, and learn the backward step that turns your light inwardly to illuminate yourself. Body and mind of themselves will drop away and your original face will be manifest.