Thursday, March 22, 2012

Study Hall

"Whoever you are, the whole world gives you energy to be free from what you think your capabilities are, from the form of a lifestyle, from the form of Zen or any teaching, whatever it is. Time is constantly giving you energy to emancipate yourself from any form or idea, even though you want to hold on to it. How can we accept time like this? Try to realize that you have already set yourself out in the vastness of the Buddha's world because you exist as a human being. So all you can do now is make every possible effort to live in Buddha's world with a way-seeking mind.
Usually we don't want to do this. If we step outside the familiar patterns of our lives we are scared. But we have to do it sometimes, so we should do it positively. This is very important for us. If we do it positively, we realize how great our capability is. That doesn't mean to become strong by expressing our ego. Expressing our ego seems to make us strong, but it is the complete opposite. In Zen monasteries the ego is always being hit on the head, like pouring water over a burning fire. Immediately pffft! Nothing is left, but this is the way to become strong.
Human beings have big, egoistic, balloon heads, so Dogen Zenji is always puncturing them, one by one, making a little hole and letting the air come out. Finally a balloon pops and you say, "Ah, I understand." But by that time maybe it's too late; maybe you understand right before you have one foot in the grave. That's why Dogen teaches us how to accept time as being and how our life can be illuminated right now" - Each Moment is the Universe - Katagiri Roshi.

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