From Reb Anderson’s Chapter on “Do not kill” in “Being
Life does not change
death does not change
life is just life;
death is just death
Life and death are not
before and after
In reality, death
vividly and peacefully coexists with the fullest expression of life
the ancient buddhas
realized that the principle of life cannot be destroyed.
Dogen zenji says:
“Life is the
manifesting of the whole works.
Death is the manifestion of the whole works. Zenki, total dynamic
functioning means that everything, life and death are workings of the whole,
and the whole is working through everything. Filling up the great empty sky,
upright mind is always bits and pieces.”
All life and each life are manifesting the whole universe
and are the working of the whole universe. Life cannot be hindered anywhere.
When you don’t understand this, you may feel threatened by
And this fear will permeate all our actions.
But in understanding interdependent origination and the
total dynamic functioning of life,
In this very moment, we realize that we do not have to be
threatening by death and all the pieces of the universe are working together
harmoniously. This understanding
actualizes our true life of freedom.
This is the central mystery of our practice.
Katagiri roshi, our root teacher, says that being with death there are
three points to remember:
There is suffering.
One of the kinds of suffering is being parted from those we love. Death is a very dramatic loss. Even though we know it happens, will
happen, when it does happen it is hard to accept.
Right at this
moment, all over the world, thousands of people are dying. We can imagine all the situations. This is truth. Right in this breath, living and dying
are appearing over and over again endlessly, together with us. Right in this breath is togetherness. –
Carl, you have brought us face to face with something very
fundamental- we can call it the ultimate dimension. It is beyond the capacity of our perception or consciousness
to comprehend or know, and yet somehow we do know it. Your death brings us to a taste of this knowing-right
it the middle of our grief, there is this taste.
release you to be so free:
Labels: death, Dogen, dukkha, grief, Katagiri Roshi, life and death, Reb Anderson, suffering, Thich Nhat hanh, total dynamic functioning