Kusen
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Sunday, 30 June 2013 17:03

Compassionate Mind is essential for practice. The noise in our head is like a small child. If we follow it, he will never grow up. If we hate or ignore it, we cut out our own heart. We need to hold it in vast, compassionate space, vast compassionate awareness. It is this space which allows him, and all beings, to live.

 
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Thursday, 27 June 2013 15:12

Non Buddhists conceive of the Universe as things within space. And in the space between things there is room for judgement, room for manipulation.

 

For Dogen, the realm of nonduality is the realm of intimacy. It is not that there is no differentiation, but there is no gap, no void.

 

And within that intimacy, each dharma totally occupies its own space. One dharma does not obstruct another, just as one moment does not obstruct another. The total exertion of one dharma –the exemplar of exertion being zazen – is the total exertion of all dharmas, because there is no separation. The total exertion of one dharma makes real the whole Universe.

 

Last Updated on Thursday, 27 June 2013 15:12
 
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Thursday, 27 June 2013 15:09

In zazen, we cultivate unadorned awareness. We simply allow our experience, without making any judgement.

 

This awareness operates at a number of levels. Most obviously, we are aware of our ego sustaining chatter. Then we are aware of our strategies to avoid our experience –distraction, fatigue, agitation, and so on. And deeper still, we are aware of our habitual attitudes towards our experience while sitting: anxiety, frustration, hopelessness, resignation and so on, and this habitual attitude mirrors our attitude to our life generally, and so what is unconscious becomes conscious.

 

Awareness is like a deepening ocean. As it becomes deeper, it becomes clearer. And so, everything is illuminated.

 

Last Updated on Thursday, 27 June 2013 15:10
 
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Thursday, 27 June 2013 15:07

Often our posture is quite poor. We slump, and it is as if our head weighs heavily on our body. Which is to say, our mind weighs heavily on our heart.

 

When we sit, we allow the spine to uncompress; the head is light and the torso can relax and fully breathe, giving the heart its full space.

 

The heart is not the seat of the emotions. Emotion is frozen feeling. It is part of the mind, not the heart. The mind is that mass of thought and emotion by which the ego perpetually talks itself back into half existence.

 

The heart is momentary felt experience. It is always there.

 

Last Updated on Thursday, 27 June 2013 15:08
 
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Thursday, 27 June 2013 15:06

We should distinguish between obstacles and delusion. Obstacles are straightforward: a persistent tune, an idea that keeps returning, a scenario that keeps regurgitating itself.

 

These seem a serious obstruction to our practice, but they’re not. Delusion is our taking a position towards them. One aspect of delusion.

 

Last Updated on Thursday, 27 June 2013 15:07
 
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