Sekiso said that Enlightenment is like a thief breaking into an empty house. 

Many people talk about practice as the cultivation of something: wisdom say, or compassion.

Is the thief trying to find the gold, or trying to find the light switch? Either way, he's a thief.

We need to understand that practice is not the cultivation of compassion. It's not the cultivation of anything.

It is compassion.




Why do we practice together? 

Practitioner monks in India would often practice on their own in their individual cells. 

So why together?  Because when we sit together we are enacting and making real the alive wholeness of everything. "All beings" is a concept, but we can sit with these beings, and thus all beings. We can't touch "Space", but we can touch this space.

It is not your practice of Zazen using your body.  It is not your practice, it is the whole universe practicing zazen using this body.


The flowers of emptiness have five petals: compassion, expression, gratitude, love and generosity. But where do they open?

My first teacher, Nancy Amphoux, said that zazen was like a huge underground river. I imagined a large river, underneath the desert of the self, pushing up flowers through the bitter earth.

She asked a person, " Is Bodhidharma here, or not?". The person said "not". She struck him. She asked again, "Is Bodhidharma here, or not?". The person said "he is here". She struck him.

The cancer in her bones latterly made sitting impossible, so she would do prostrations instead. We traditionally make prostrations to our teacher, whether our teacher is here or there, here or gone. All our teachers. Even though there are mountains and rivers between us. Even if there is life and death between us. Between us.

Alive or dead? Alive or dead? Answer! Answer!

Where do the flowers open? Answer! Answer!


In these days, it often feels as if we are living in a dream. But whose dream? 

Awakening is one of the three meanings of Satori, Enlightenment. 

So what is Awakening?

It isn't waking up into a different world. It isn't, asleep, imagining that the world is flat, and waking up, realising that it's round. We have to get out of our fixation on truth and falsity. It is entirely useless.

It is just letting the ceaseless expression of life, flooding through us from moment to moment, be.

We awaken from the small dreams of 'Me': self and world, truth and falsity, hate and fear, clinging and so on. 

But awaken into which dream?


Eko said to Bodhidharma, "my mind is not at peace, please pacify it"

Bodhidharma said, "bring me your mind and I will pacify it"

After a while Eko said, "I have looked everywhere for my mind and I cannot find it"

Bodhidharma said, "There! I have pacified it"

In Eko's  question, we might easily pass over the most important word, 'My' : 'My mind',  but if we don't pass over it, if we see the fiction of 'my' mind, 'my' experience, what is there to pacify?

We should be grateful for everything in the flood of experience, because it is that, and that alone, which clarifies the great matter.

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