Monday, February 1, 2010

Don't Know Matters

"In the Zen tradition the first precept is nonkilling. One way we study the first precept of nonkilling is to consider all the beings that have given up their lives for our lives to continue. At each moment, this life is being created and clothed out of billions of offerings and sacrifices So the first precept becomes a tremendous appreciation for the flow of life.

"As our experience of life increases and deepens, we spontaneously minimize the amount of sacrifice needed for our sustenance and begin to live more simply. An intensified gratitude for this infinite support system moves us to make the best possible use of all that sacrifice. For example, we might become vegetarians rather than meat eaters. ...

"The powerful irony at the heart of Zen practice is that the strongest way to follow the first precept of nonkilling is by "killing the self." If we can kill — that is, truly forget — the self, we are at that moment nurturing and fostering life in the fullest and most genuine manner possible When we kill the self, we eliminate the separation that threatens life and makes killing possible in the first place, because zazen is being there for the wholeness of life, not just for the pieces we like or don't like. It means not experiencing separation, not seeing the other person as different from me.

"Recently I thought of the Buddha's life and I thought of his father trying to isolate him from suffering, from old age and death. That became a metaphor for the denial or separation from those aspects of ourselves or society that we are afraid of or not ready to deal with. In the last five to ten years I've felt a need to bear witness to those aspects of society that i fear or deny.

"For me the importance of bearing witness to what is denied grew out of my zazen, out of bearing witness to life as a whole. When I bear witness, I learn, I open to what is. There is a healing process in that. And the things that we are in denial about teach us. We don't go to them to teach them. They teach us."

Instructions to the Cook: A Zen Master's Lesson's in Living a Life That Matters
Bernard Glassman & Rick FIelds

(Underlines are mine)

Who's living your life
Living a life that matters
All starts from Don't Know

DHS 82/100
(Writing until the last drops of ink can be squeezed from the tip)

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