247.


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.

 

 

 

 

 
246.


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.


 

 

 
245.


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.

 

 

 

 
244.


The Tibetan word for Samsara (‘khor ba’) literally means circling. Just going round in circles; blown here and there by karma.

Nirvana is not trying to do something to fix our karma, nor trying to perfect the self, nor making ourselves more wise or more compassionate. All of this is just samsara.

It is simply to stop fabricating. To just allow this experience to flood through us.

My first teacher Nancy said that zazen is like a huge underground river in our lives. We can't see it, but it's there. And a river, obviously, is a path, a way. Likewise, the ground above it. Likewise, the space above it. 



 

 
243.


A familiar instruction many of us have received is: keep returning the attention to the body and the breath.

This instruction is helpful providing you don’t imagine it’s your body, your attention, your breath, because to imagine this is simply to reintroduce the self, and the familiar dualities.

Returning the attention to the breath means that we are aware of this dynamic moving space within us. Which is the same space as that around us and beyond us. Hence, Emptiness is actualised.

Returning the attention to this body is to clearly see that this body is part of the great body, the body of everything. Hence, Being is actualised.


 

 
<< Start < Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Next > End >>