Kusen
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Tuesday, 05 December 2017 12:24

 

Master Dogen described zazen as walking at full speed over the heads of demons.

Note the imagery carefully. The demons don't belong to someone else; they belong to you: their heads live in your head, and you don't need to be rid of them to be free of them. Yet, they enable the Way to be walked.

Because they don't live in the vigorous body of practice. Beware the demon of acquisition. Beware the demon of wisdom.

It's an odd inversion: the body walking over the head. Your head, obviously, but not your body. Rather, the body of the whole universe, expressed through this body.

 

 

 

 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 05 December 2017 12:32
 
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Monday, 20 November 2017 22:20


My first teacher, Nancy Amphoux, asked her teacher - “How should I practice Zazen?”

Her teacher replied - “You should practice Zazen eternally.”

She said that she thought at first that what he meant was that she should practice Zazen for the rest of her life.

To practice eternally, it's as if we are the ground on which all beings and all moments walk

Or the space within which all beings and all moments live.




 

Last Updated on Monday, 20 November 2017 22:21
 
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Thursday, 16 November 2017 11:33


Master Dogen asked "If the cart is stuck, do we beat the horse, or beat the cart?"

Almost all meditation teachers would say the horse, the mind. Surely that is the point of meditation? To empty and purify the mind.

But Dogen said that we should beat (give attention to) the cart, the body. How so?

Zazen is the way of liberation through the body. Not the body as thought. Not the body as object, but the body as it actually is. Because that body, completely alive, is already part of the body of the universe, completely alive.


 

Last Updated on Thursday, 16 November 2017 11:36
 
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Thursday, 16 November 2017 11:29

 

Taigen Dan Leighton described the various aspects of our practice as ritual enactment and expression.

It isn't moving slowly towards the Buddha, a speck in the ghost cave of the future. It is the living activity of Buddha now. It isn't forming the thought of gratitude, and then giving form to that thought in the symbolism of bowing. No.

Awake-awareness, compassion, gratitude, generosity: they are not qualities of the self. They are pillars holding up the roof of the world.

 

 

 

Last Updated on Thursday, 16 November 2017 11:32
 
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Wednesday, 08 November 2017 11:46


The three treasures are Buddha, Dharma, Sangha.

Towards the end of his life, the Buddha said to his disciples "My true body is my teachings"

Out of this arose the idea of the dharmakaya, the Universal Body of the Buddha, and then, later, the Bliss Body. As 'buddha' inflated, 'sangha' shrunk.

But there's another way to look at it.

The Buddha's teachings weren't written down in his lifetime. They were held in the bodies and minds of the disciples who heard them. They were brought out by those disciples. That's where the teachings arose. Without a sangha, there would have been no dharma. That's where the teachings were embodied. And from there, outward, to everywhere.

And it is this body - the Sangha body, both mythical and flesh and blood - which keeps giving birth to new buddhas.


 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 November 2017 11:47
 
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