Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Oi Vei... Not Again...

DHS 161

"[W]e say that cause and effect are one. Every action is complete in each moment as both cause and effect, for each action is both the cause of other things and the effect of other things.

"In a way, right here and right now, space and time, are all abstractions. What makes space and time real? You, your very being as you are gives space and time significance. It is easy for us to understand that without space and time we cannot survive. The reverse is also true. Without our very being, no space, no time, no history, and no world exist. In other words, our very life itself is the process of the creation of the world, of everything.

"This is what I mean when I tell you all the time to take good care of yourself, according to the position you have and the work that needs to be done. In doing so, you extend your practice into your daily life, unifying everything as is. If this is not happening, then make this your practice. Nothing is binding you. If you feel that something is binding you, what is it? How do you take care of it?

"Please have deep conviction and trust in yourself to be truly Yourself. There is no other way. By doing so, you will have a very deep confidence and respect for yourself. Going one step further, since the life of each of us contains everything, taking care of yourself is taking care of everything else, do you see?"

Appreciate Your Life:
The Essence of Zen Practice

Taizan Maezumi

Somewhere in his book Each Moment Is The Universe, Dainin Katagiri also talks about this, if i remember correctly. I seem to remember him saying it's not important that you understand your life, how it's unfolding, or why it's unfolding as it is. He admitted that he had no clue how his life turned out such that he was leading a monastery in the northern US. Understanding the whys and why nots isn't what's important; what's important is to accept all of your life and in doing so, to take your practice out into your daily life.

How does that old classic quote go? "Lord, grant me the ability to change the things in my life that i can change, the patience to accept those things that i can not change, and the wisdom to know the difference." Something like that; i know it is different, but this is the way i always remember it. I think this is what both Maezumi and Katagiri are talking about. Accept your life. 100% of it. The good, the bad, and the indifferent. Change what needs changing when you have the ability. Accept what you can't change and work with it in your practice. Use it as the fertilizer that makes your practice grow.

Know that everything you do is both a cause and an effect. But accept that karma is not some fatalist notion that predetermines what you will do and be. You are in control of your life. You can choose what to do with your life. You can choose who you will be. Be confident in your abilities and your choices. Trust yourself. Trust the dharma. Trust Life.

Make your entire life your practice. Make your entire practice your life.

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