Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Study Hall

Ahead of leaving for England, a week today, I have put aside Katagiri Roshi in order to read up a little on the Tenzo Kyokun. Currently I am ploughing through From the Zen Kitchen to Enlightenment - Refining Your Life, Uchiyama Roshi's commentary on the Dogen text. It's been a while since I read any Uchiyama, and I am enjoying his robust and down-to-earth expositions: "Sawaki Roshi used to use the expression, 'Live the Self that fills the whole Universe'. When we see the words universe, or world, or all sentient beings, we are apt to think that this means we should meditate on our awareness expanding in some large space in the way a balloon expands when filled with air. But that is not what the roshi meant. Life must take the form of living activity, and the Tenzo Kyokun teaches us that the Self inclusive of the whole world is nothing other than the very things, people or situations that we presently encounter and know, and helps us to discover our lives through these things, and in turn, pour all our life ardor back into them...
Zenis often thought to be a state of mind in which you become one with your surroundings. There is an expression which says that mind and environmet are one. Enlightenment is understood as falling entranced into some rapturous state of mind in which external phenomena become one with one's Self. However, if such a state of mind were the spirit of Zen, then one would have to still one's body in order to achieve it, and never move. In order to do that, a person would have to have a considerable amount of spare time with no worries about where the next meal was coming from. What this would mean, in effect, is that Zen would have no connection with people who have to devote most of their time and energies just to making a living".

Felt like we needed a sky picture - from a few days ago as we transitioned into the current hot weather


Ruth said...

What a wonderful sky.

Shundo said...

We do get them from time to time.