October 6th, 2003


(no subject)

My nose's still leaking.
And it's october already. Reminiscient of autumn and the orangey leaves.
The weather should be turning colder.

The relentless cycle of life goes on.
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Point Ten: The Direct Realization of the Way.

"Only when body and mind sit completely still, self forgetten, can the mind return to its original pure and clear nature. Random thoughts are not the problem if they are simply allowed to come and go freely. It is the dualistic and conceptual thinking that continues to stir up the mind.

Fighting confusion with more thoughts doesn't help; you only end up exhausted. To continually discriminate requires a great deal of effort. We are so used to it that we don't always notice, but thinking depends on the effort you put into it. If you stop providing fuel, the whole process slows down. Thinking will cease and the mind will settle by itself. The only solution is just to sit stably and think of not thinking. How do you think of not thinking? Beyond thinking.

No fixed perspective would ever be sufficient, because mind and all phenomena are in constant flux. All efforts to evaluate, judge, and criticize, even with the best of intentions, are nothing but a means to avoid accepting the Way. It's easy enough to be critical. In one sense, no one is perfect. Your teacher is no exception. You will always find flaws: he or she is too young or too old, too strict or too loose, too humble or too arrogant, too distant or too intimate, too wild or too boring. If you are caught up in your own judgements, you miss that which is the most precious, the opportunity to relinquish the self. In order to judge at all, standards are needed. If you do not judge, you do not need standards.

Of course pain can never be avoided, but it does not necessarily have to turn into suffering. If fact, being at one with your pain leads to the end of all suffering. That is probably why no one has ever been able to attain the Way without going through great difficulty. It is only through experiencing your own pain that you can clarify the Way and identify with the suffering of all sentinent beings. If you hold back and resist, true wisdom and compassion cannot arise. "

-- adapted from Beyond Sanity and Madness, The way of Zen Master Dogen.

I don't believe in total adherence to overarching concepts, but this
makes sense to me.
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