Buddha was not interested in the elements comprising human beings, nor in metaphysical theories of existence. He was more concerned with how he himself existed in this moment. That was his point. Bread is made from flour. How flour becomes bread when put in the oven was for Buddha the most important thing. How we become enlightened was his main interest. The enlightened person is some perfect, desirable character, for himself and for others. Buddha wanted to know how human beings develop this ideal character -- how various sages in the past became sages. In order to find out how dough became perfect bread, he made it over and over again, until he became quite successful. That was his practice.
--Shunryu Suzuki, Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind