Kusen
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Wednesday, 18 April 2018 08:25


When we chant form is emptiness, we don’t mean that things are illusory. We mean that everything is both particular and universal, like the waves and the ocean. So everything matters.

When we touch one person, we are touching that person, not someone else. But, at the same time, we are touching all beings. Likewise, when we are touched by one person, we are touched by all beings. EveryThing matters.

So, when the birds of our thinking arise, whether their plumage is radiant or dowdy or as black as pitch, we should not cage them in our love or hate but

give them the sky



 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 18 April 2018 08:28
 
238. PDF Print E-mail
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Wednesday, 18 April 2018 08:21


In the Avalokiteshvara chapter of the Shobogenzo, there is a famous exchange between Master Ungan and Master Dogo about how best to describe the bodhisattva of compassion.

When asked by Dogo, Ungan describes Avalokiteshvara in a particular way. Dogo then says “your words describe the situation nicely, but only about eighty or ninety percent”, and then gives his own description.

Dogo’s description seems better, but if we think that he’s described the situation perfectly, or at least better than Ungan, we’re missing the point.

There’s always something missing. And because of that, the Dharma will not perish.

It is not that there aren’t teachers and students, but we need to understand what a teacher is.

He’s not someone who shares his knowledge. That’s a scholar. Neither is he someone who shares his wisdom. That’s a guru. It’s not that there isn’t a difference between teacher and student, but only in function, not essence.

They are like 2 points, which delineate a whole person, a great person. This real person fully occupies the Buddhist space, moving forward and backward, according to circumstance. Sometimes he is the teacher and student. Sometimes the sangha. Sometimes the whole world.

The teacher is not a great person, but sometimes he is part of a great person. The responsibility of a teacher is to teach with great vigour for the rest of his life. Not from his own vigour, which is puny, nor from the vigour of his student, which is likewise puny, but from the vigour and expression of this great person, which is inexhaustible.


 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 18 April 2018 08:25
 
237. PDF Print E-mail
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Wednesday, 18 April 2018 08:12

 

Whether we are practicing zazen or kinhin, we are always walking The Way. And yet, we are never balanced. Because of this, the Dharma will not perish.

Within our own practice, and within the practice of all practitioners, it is as if this practice is a real person, walking through time. The function of a teacher is not to embody the Buddha, but to fully embody themselves, in all their vivid expressed unbalancedness. And the function of the student is not to replicate their teacher, but to fully understand that they are

the other foot

 

 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 18 April 2018 08:14
 
236. PDF Print E-mail
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Thursday, 22 March 2018 10:03


When we sit, we soften our eyes. Everything becomes very near, intimate. In softening the eyes, we become bodily aware, first the head, then the rest of the body. It is as if the whole body becomes an eye.

But because we don’t force the eyes to stay relaxed, the eyes, and the other sense organs, can suddenly, as it were, come into focus. So, we see the wall, hear the birdsong, smell the incense.

Sitting with our softened eyes, our mind is softened too. It is as if we are very aware of this intimacy, this underlying being-ness, prior to the emergence of objects, emotions, perceptions, formations. We might call this ‘not thinking’.

And, like the eye suddenly focusing, we suddenly get fragments of perceptions, mental formations, feelings. We might call this ‘thinking’.

We should not think one state is good and the other is not. It is of paramount importance that we accept everything.

Accept everything, uncontained by a self.

 

 

 

Last Updated on Thursday, 22 March 2018 10:06
 
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Thursday, 22 March 2018 09:59


Within the dream of the self, although the deaths of others are regrettable, they’re not fundamental: the primary issue is the death of this person. The Buddhist writer David Loy says the fear of death is itself a repression of a more fundamental fear: the fear that the self doesn't exist, now. The fear of non existence is pushed away into the imaginary future.

What if each death, each birth was the fundamental thing?

We do not practice within the dream of the self; we practice with all beings. Not this person, with all beings, but with all beings. Within all being. When we soften the eyes we see more clearly. Not the landscape of the self, but uncountable worlds. When an eye closes a world closes. When a hand opens a world opens. This unexpressibly vivid expression.

everything matters

 

 

 

Last Updated on Thursday, 22 March 2018 10:02
 
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