Who would think that just beyond the gateless gate lies a deadly trap?
How could the realization of one’s true nature possibly have a down side?
The fact that I am contained in everything and everything is contained in me, where there is neither separateness nor oneness, would seem to be a state that has nowhere to go, nothing to do.
That’s the trap.
Wikipedia defines Metaphysical Solipsism as
the variety of idealism which is based on the argument that no reality exists other than one's own mind or mental states, and that the individual mind is the whole of reality and the external world has no independent existence. It is expressed by the assertion "I myself only exist", in other words, no reality exists other than one's own mind.
Yamada Koun Roshi (Robert Aitken Roshi’s teacher) called it “pernicious oneness”.
Beware of the intellect manufacturing gems like Everything is perfect just as it is, therefore I don’t need to do anything, or Everything is an illusion, including suffering, so I don’t need to do anything, or I don’t need to practice, because everything is enlightened. These and similar thoughts pave the comfortable road to hell.
Having finally seen the Ox face to face, are you just going to spend the rest of your life lovingly gazing into its eyes?
Hakuin Zenji said this about the First Rank of Tozan:
The rank of "The Apparent within the Real" denotes the rank of the Absolute, the rank in which one experiences the Great Death, shouts "KA!" sees Tao, and enters into the Principle. When the true practitioner, filled with power from his secret study, meritorious achievements, and hidden practices, suddenly bursts through into this rank, "the empty sky vanishes and the iron mountain crumbles." "Above, there is not a tile to cover his head; below, there is not an inch of ground for him to stand on." The delusive passions are non-existent, enlightenment is non-existent, Samsara is non-existent, Nirvana is non-existent. This is the state of total empty solidity, without sound and without odor, like a bottomless clear pool. It is as if every fleck of cloud had been wiped from the vast sky.
Too often the disciple, considering that his attainment of this rank is the end of the Great Matter and his discernment of the Buddha-way complete, clings to it to the death and will not let go of it. Such as this is called "stagnant water" Zen; such a man is called "an evil spirit who keeps watch over the corpse in the coffin." Even though he remains absorbed in this state for thirty or forty years, he will never get out of the cave of the self-complacency and inferior fruits of pratyeka-buddhahood. Therefore it is said: "He whose activity does not leave this rank sinks into the poisonous sea." He is the man whom Buddha called "the fool who gets his realization in the rank of the Real."
There is the small matter described in the delightful title of Jack Kornfield’s book After the Ecstasy the Laundry.
How can I escape from the trapless trap? What direction should I take in a place where there are no directions? One helpful idea might be to be mindful of compassion.
When everything you experience is a mirror, who is looking back at you through the eyes of a homeless addict or through the eyes of a cow at the slaughterhouse?
Now gazing into the eyes of the ox, be moved to do something.
P.S. Don’t get stuck there either. I try to refrain from giving advice, but I’ll make an exception here. If you think you may be stuck, find an experienced teacher without delay.