In advance of this week's memorial for Katagiri Roshi, I went to the library to take out Each Moment is the Universe, which I think I tried to read when it was first published, but as with Returning to Silence, found it hard to crack. This time round I am enjoying it immensely. Here is a section from the end of the first chapter, and there will be much more to follow:
"Buddhism is really hard, particularly Dogen's teaching. He gives you a very hard practice: Keep your mouth shut and look directly at impermanence! This living practice is called zazen. Zazen is not a way to escape from life by being mindful of something that is apart from the human world; it is the practice of being present in the real stream of time and looking directly at life itself. Zazen enables you to plunge below the surface and leads you to touch the core of your life. It's not so easy. But even so, you have to do it, because spiritual life originates from the direct observation of impermanence.
Observation shows you that you don't have to be upset and try to escape when you realize that time constantly cuts off your life, because there is another aspect of time. One aspect of time is to separate; the other is to connect. The aspect of time that separates you from others is the human world. The aspect of time that connects you to others is universal truth. You are connected with all beings in time, which permeates into every inch of the cosmic universe, and space, where everyone and everything exists together in peace and harmony. So you are you, but you don't exist alone; you are connected with others: to dogs, cats, trees, mountains, the sky, stars, Dogen, and Buddha.
Having the two aspects of separation and connection is called impermanence. It is called moment. This is the original nature of time. When you see this, you feel deep relief and live with a warmhearted feeling, because you understand yourself very deeply. You understand what a human being is. And you understand the one place, called the domain of impermanence, where you live alone and at the same time live together with all beings in peace and harmony. This is spiritual security".