Monday, November 21, 2011

Study Hall

I was moved this morning to pick up Branching Streams Flow in the Darkness, and enjoy once again how Suzuki Roshi can say that most profound things without even seeming to. I found a good passage for Young Urban Zen tonight, and also, a page or two later, this:
"When you feel you are somebody, you have to practice zazen harder. As you know, it is difficult to sit without thinking or feeling. When you don't think or feel, you usually fall asleep. But without sleeping and without thinking, just to be yourself is our practice. When you can do that, you will be able to speak without thinking too much, and without having any special purpose. When you speak or act, it will be just to express yourself. That is complete self-respect. To practice zazen is to attain this kind of self-respect. You must be strict with yourself and escpecially with your tendencies. We each have our own unique personal tendencies. But if you try to get rid of them, or if you try not to think, or not to hear the stream during zazen, it is not possible. Let your ears hear without trying to hear. Let the mind think without trying to think and without trying to stop it. That is practice.
More and more, you will have this rhythm as the power of practice. If you practice hard you will be like a child. While we were talking about self-respect, a bird was singing outside. Peep-peep-peep. That's self-respect. Peep-peep-peep. It doesn't mean anything. Maybe he was just singing. Maybe without trying to think he was just singing, peep-peep-peep. When we heard it we couldn't stop smiling. We cannot say that it is just a bird. It controls the whole mountain, the whole world. That is self-respect".

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