long as demons exist in the world, they have their own reason to exist. The
reason is completely beyond our human speculation, but demons exist in
Buddha's world. So we have to find the realm of buddhas within the realm
of demons. In other words, in the realm of pain and suffering, we have to find
the realm of peace and harmony. This is religious practice. You cannot find any
peace by escaping from human pain and suffering; you have to find peace and
harmony rights in the midst of human pain. That is the purpose of spiritual
It’s hard for American’s to use the mythological word “demons”, but
trouble always exists in our world.
Greed, anger and ignorance arise
endlessly from our four Bodhisattva Vows. We have to find the realm
of buddhas within the realm of demons.
In other words, in the realm of pain and suffering, we have to find the
realm of peace and harmony. This
is religious practice.
We have to find a way to accept on life’s terms what is happening in our
karmic, historic life AND to knead it or ventilate it with our understanding of
Buddha nature, that which is complete and whole no matter what is happening on
the surface and in the appearance of our life. How does that wholeness or dynamic function of form and emptiness
work on a daily basis to help us stay upright with equanimity through the
hurricanes and tornadoes of our karmic life?
One way is to stay in touch with the total
of life through daily prayer and meditation. So that our experience of freedom or
universal perspective as Katagiri Roshi called it, is not very far away from
our daily consciousness.
Another way is to take very profoundly the teaching that Every moment is complete. Every appearance is the expression of
I have been having
a feeling of connectedness with the source in my daily life by using two
I have been trying to pause
at doorways. Sometimes I do it as
poorly as catching 15% of doorways on a given day, and other days I might go up
to 60%. But no matter how well I
do, it definitely has invited me more into presence. I take an inhale and then I say what I see on the other half
of the doorway. I’m in the kitchen. I’m in
the parking lot. I’m in my
office. I’m in the zendo. Often I add, this moment is enlightenment. This has really been great! It is getting me into thinking of
enlightenment not as a certain state but as a
continuous line of immediacy.
The other mindfulness practice I have been doing is a body practice
where you feel the backside of your body during activity, especially for me,
during public speaking or when I feel anxious (which is often :)
slightly pull myself back into my body, noticing the back half of my body and
it just automatically changes the energy of my “pushing to accomplish
something” or “my wanting a certain result to my activity”. It really centers me.
In order to have demons and buddhas live in the same complete moment as
the transformative process of spiritual life, one has to have no preferences. “The way is not difficult for those who do not pick and
choose” (from Trust in Mind). That means, through our religious
practice, we are building our capacity to maintain our equanimity or
uprightness no matter if the present appearance is either side of the "8 worldly winds":
This is why Katagiri Roshi writes:
cannot find any peace by escaping from human pain and suffering; you have to
find peace and harmony rights in the midst of human pain. That is the purpose
of spiritual life."
Labels: 8 worldly winds, Demons in buddhism, enlightenment, Katagiri Roshi, mindfulness practices, total dynamic functioning