“The day to day
activities in the household of the Buddha-ancestors, is our house, our life and
our activity. This doing and not
doing, is imbued thoroughly with the total dynamic functioning of moment-to-moment
reality. Nothing is left out and
there can be great peace and ease in this understanding.” Dogen-Zenji.
A friend sent me this quote this week and it was a
continuation of my last blog. What
I’ve been contemplated, particularly in Dogen’s “Uji” is how to manifest the Wisdom of Equality.
The household of the
Buddha-ancestors is our house.
Our day-to-day activities are the life and activity of the Buddha. Can our concentration and mindfulness
be strong enough to make this an expression of our own very life and
truth? We need a lot of mental
strength (concentration energy) to interrupt our swirling stories in our minds and land us in the
experiential sensations of the here and
now. To allow our feeling heart/mind to know that this here and now is connected with the whole universe. When we are able to do this, we have
“This doing and not
doing” are BOTH the dynamic functioning of the truth. It’s hard for a human mind not to cling
to one side or the other as “right”.
Our culture is such a “doing” culture. Our values and praise are skewed
towards accomplishment. However, a
value of non-doing might help alleviate our high stress and anxiety. So for Americans, it’s usually that we need
to make spaces for non-doing. We
learn to meditate. We allow
unbounded openness to touch our day-to-day activities. But either way, concretely producing,
or sitting in silence and openness, either way, we are involved in the dynamic
functioning of life itself, of the Whole Works. Nothing is left out.
Spirituality and meditation does not land us in a vermillion
tower - a heaven that transcends our day-to-day activity. Rather we are encouraged to see our
ordinary lives from the view of One mind and the mystery revealed in every form
There can be great
peace and ease in this understanding.
This is the beginning of radical acceptance, which can imbue
everything with peace. Our karmic
lives cannot be escaped. Our
karmic life has to be accepted as it is and seen through as impermanent.
Contrary to what we think Buddha said, the first thing
Katagiri Roshi said to me in 1973 was, “You can’t escape pain.” What does that mean in the face of
Buddha saying that he came to teach freedom from suffering? So this is our great koan. How can we see our suffering and the
activities of our karmic life as the great manifestation of the One Mind? Through that investigation, our karmic
consciousness and the Buddha-nature can be seen dynamically functioning
together and forming the great household of the Buddha-ancestors. Then, our karmic life is revealed and
seen as a household of a Buddha.
Labels: Dogen Zenji, doing and non-doing, here and now, interrupting the storyline, mindfulness, One mind, Uji, Wisdom of equality