Kusen
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Thursday, 23 August 2018 15:49


In our practice, the breath is absolutely essential.

We are scrupulous about posture because when we sit upright and balanced, the breath is liberated.

The breath is central not because it relaxes and settles us; although it does, obviously.

It is essential because it clarifies our nature.

If we pay attention to the actual experience of breathing - not a conceptual one - we realise there is nowhere that our breath doesn't reach.

It's as if our breath is this dynamic vast moving space at our centre.

And the body is draped around it. 

We are not this body in space. We are space.

There is no clear divide between the space inside and the space outside.

So to actualise this space inside us is to actualise all space; not as something abstract but as

the space between us.

 

 

Last Updated on Thursday, 23 August 2018 15:50
 
257. PDF Print E-mail
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Thursday, 23 August 2018 15:45


The koan stories recall the words between teachers and students, but a person is missing.

That person is the relational space between the teacher and the student.

We could call this space the true, momentary teacher

It's not that this third person simply exists in the gap between the teacher and student, but rather that both teacher and student exist within this third person; this relational, alive space

Similarly we are not eleven people each pursuing our personal practice; there is a 12th person here.

The space between us. The space which contains us, which lifts us up into being

When people talk of the Dharmakaya, the Universal Buddha-body, they don't mean something conceptual, they mean just this -

 

 

 

Last Updated on Thursday, 23 August 2018 15:45
 
256. PDF Print E-mail
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Thursday, 23 August 2018 15:29

 

Master Rinzai said that there is a true person of no rank, always entering and leaving, through our face.

It is tempting to interpret this as fantastical or symbolic, rather than a description of actual experience.

Note that he didn’t say the heart - which extends everywhere - but the face.

People often imagine that underneath all our conditioning is a true person, and the purpose of spiritual practice is to get there, but Rinzai’s expression is entirely contrary to that. The true person is not you. They are not someone else.

It is as if metallic casts of our masks were suspended in Emptiness, like wind chimes.

 

 

 

Last Updated on Saturday, 25 August 2018 09:55
 
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Thursday, 23 August 2018 14:56


The most important thing when we start to practice is to have faith.

Not faith in Buddhism or a set of ideas, but faith in our own sincerity, in our sincere practice.

When we start it's often as if everything which arises within experience is like a smoke or fog or noise; obscuring reality, choking, deafening or distracting us; and we wish rid of it.

But what we need to understand is that everything is reality, all of it. Give each thing space and see it so.

Our task is not to empty the mind, but to make it vast.

 

 

 

Last Updated on Thursday, 23 August 2018 15:01
 
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Monday, 23 July 2018 17:38


In the Lotus Sutra the Buddha says all living beings will become Buddhas.

This may be the source of our belief that we practice, not to become Buddha, but from the perspective of Buddha.

Not to make the person into a Buddha, but to displace the person.

Dogen radicalises this further by declaring seemingly humble objects Buddhas. Drum Buddha. Stick Buddha, Broken Ladle Buddha, and so on.

It's not affectation.  It is pointing to something important and real.

The Lotus Sutra also says that only a Buddha, together with a Buddha, can see how things are.

Usually on our window ledge there are two ceramic buddhas. We bought them in a junk shop 30 years ago.

On Saturday a gust of wind blew these two Buddhas over, damaging them. 

A Buddha, together with a Buddha, fell to the ground.

When we saw this we were upset. But we didn’t see this activity as part of the limitless expression of apparently humble objects. It is not that through our brilliance we impose multiple teachings on humble objects, nor that they express these teachings themselves. But together. Together.

 

 

 

Last Updated on Monday, 23 July 2018 17:42
 
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