Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Heat Of The Moment

Yesterday a dear friend asked me to explain what practice meant to me. I did my best to articulate something, and spoke about how it sometimes felt possible to meet someone completely in one moment, and what a beneficial experience that can be for both. She told me that I should write all this in the blog, as that would also be beneficial. I knew, and I replied, that apart from being unable to recreate the words and phrases I had used, any description would necessarily miss the energy of that moment and that exchange with this particular person, which is what gave the words their vitality and meaning.
This morning I read in 'Arousing the Aspiration for Enlightenment', 'Hotsu Bodai Shin', "The scale of this moment can only be known by the Tathagatha". I also think of the phrase "only a buddha together with a buddha", which I also brought up in the conversation, and which I currently take to mean that the vital essence of practice is present only when two people are able to meet completely, although this reading certainly does not exhaust that phrase. I think this is hard to achieve in a blog posting, but I can say that I have experienced deep and lasting nourishment through my practice, and it is my intention to have that experience be of benefit to others, however I can manifest it.


Jeannie said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and your journey. I find your blog very inspiring. It strengthens my [at times weak] Zen practice.

Shundo said...

Hi Jeannie,

Thanks for following. I think one's practice always improves when we stop thinking of it as good or bad and just do the best we can.

sb3day said...

Thank you for this. I hadn't thought about mindfulness allowing me to be present with others- it's always been more about myself. I practiced it last night at the Q and A after beginner's zazen. I started off with dislike, judgment, dissatisfaction and then tried to be present with that person at that moment. I focused on their eyes like I focus on my breath in zazen and was able to see: vulnerable, anxious, wanting to help, perceptive, quirky, sweet. I left feeling connected instead of isolated. I even practiced it with my students this morning. It was a peaceful morning, until we played Bingo...then all I could see was a bunch of sore losers.

Jeannie said...

Good advice. Thank you, Shundo. :-)

Shundo said...

Hi Shannon,

Thank you for an illuminating comment. It usually helps to practise being mindful with ourselves first, just like with loving-kindness practice, but it sounds like you were very present with that person on Thursday.