Kusen
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Sunday, 08 July 2018 16:23


Before we sit down we bow to our cushion and bow to everyone.

How so?

In this place of practice, everything has equal and absolute value.

It is not that the person is great and the cushion is menial.

No!

It is not that the cushion, the mat, the floor, the incense, the Buddha are here to facilitate my practice.

No

Everything in this place is conducting this practice.

Because this is so, even though this room is only 12 foot Square, it is the whole universe.


 

 

 

Last Updated on Sunday, 08 July 2018 16:25
 
248. PDF Print E-mail
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Sunday, 08 July 2018 15:52


Bowing.


1. It is like the heart is a very clever person, a brilliant person, who can only express himself through an infinite number of stupid persons. The stupid person of bowing, for instance

But each of those stupid persons, in that expression, becomes a brilliant person. An infinitely faceted person.

Until skewered on words.

2. When students ask the teacher about bowing, the teacher will often reply that it’s an expression of non-duality. We bring 2 apparently separate things - the hands - together. I’ve done this myself.


It’s not that the answer is wrong, but it’s incomplete.

We could equally say that when we bow, we de-centre the head. When I bow to you, I de-centre my self; I make myself an object in your world. And so, bowing is leaving the prison of the self and entering a cascade of lived, shared worlds.

This answer isn’t wrong either, but it’s incomplete. Because bowing’s expression is limitless.

3. How we view Ritual is the canary in the coal mine. If we misunderstand it, if we imagine that Ritual is language put into physical form - I bow to express gratitude, for example - then we cannot prevent that view gradually seeping everywhere.

Which is our end.





 

Last Updated on Sunday, 08 July 2018 16:22
 
247. PDF Print E-mail
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Friday, 22 June 2018 13:03


The Self asserts itself twice : first openly, then by stealth.

We are often told that zazen is not meditation, and that’s true, if meditation is seen as a way of controlling the mind, expanding consciousness, increasing compassion and similar egoic drivel.

But we also need to be alert to a different form of self assertion: imagining that there is ‘good’ and ‘bad’ experience. So, when we are sitting, we might imagine (good) raw experience to be somehow dimmed by the (bad) experience of judging, commenting, associating and so on, which our ‘mind’ seems to be doing automatically. But who is it who wishes to get this (bad) experience out of the way?

Our practice is to experience everything in vast open awareness.

 

 

 

 

Last Updated on Friday, 22 June 2018 13:09
 
246. PDF Print E-mail
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Friday, 22 June 2018 12:57


We say this life is like a dream. We say it because we want to point to something which is neither existence or non-existence, neither true or false. Something which can be experienced, but not grasped.

And by not being grasped, the backwards and forwards of expression and of meaning between the dreamer and the dream can be vividly enacted.


 

 

Last Updated on Friday, 22 June 2018 13:00
 
245. PDF Print E-mail
Written by News Administrator   
Friday, 22 June 2018 12:50


In the Genjokoan, Master Dogen wrote:

"To carry the self forward to experience the myriad charms is delusion. For the myriad dharmas to come forth and illuminate the self is enlightenment"

'Self' is 'Jiko', which has two meanings. The first is self in the usual sense; the ego, the small, personal self. The second meaning however is the whole of dependent origination. The whole works. The big self.

Dogen switches between the meanings, so we can paraphrase him as saying:

"To sit in zazen and experience everything as my experience, and to be concerned with 'me' is delusion. To unobstruct each thing's illumination of the whole of time, the whole of existence, is enlightenment"

Know this: your practice is not a personal practice. It is entirely unconcerned with your puny needs and wants. It is the whole universe practicing, through this body.

 

 

 

Last Updated on Friday, 22 June 2018 12:55
 
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