Wednesday, March 16, 2016


Elihu Genmyo Smith
Everyone you meet is entrusting their life to you. Everything you meet is entrusting their life to you. Every circumstance of myriad beings is entrusting life to you.

This is the neighbor you greet in the morning, the tree you walk by, your breakfast, others on the crowded bus and the phone call at work.

Everyone you meet is entrusting their Buddhahood to you. Everything you meet is entrusting Buddhahood to you. Every circumstance of myriad beings is entrusting Buddha Dharma to you. 

They need not know of this entrusting nor acknowledge this entrusting. And it is up to you to respond appropriately to this meeting, to the Buddha you meet, to the myriad moment circumstance Dharma you live, independent of what you “know”, of what they “know”, independent of what you they do not know.

And you are entrusting them, each them you meet, entrusting them with your life, entrusting them with your Buddhahood, with Buddha Dharma.

Your life is this moment, this response; your manifesting ongoing change is this response.

Of course, there is no Buddhahood, not yours, not anyone else’s, not anything else’s. So we speak of Buddhahood, speak of Buddha Dharma. This, right here now, not-two. Your life right here is the Dharma, your life right here is the life of Buddha.

Your response is what is so, your response reveals and liberates this moment, reveals for you and for all others. This is fulfilling vows of liberating all beings, liberating all Buddhas - whether “knowing” this or not, whether you, they, “know” this or not.

What determines this moment is your response, experiencing, doing, non-doing, your ongoing practice life. The actions or knowing of others is not the determinant of this moment, of this practice response. Neither is your “knowing” the determinant of this practice response – “knowing”, figuring out, understanding, at times these blind and hinder us. What is needed is present moment functioning, present moment experiencing, the skillful and appropriate practice response.

Please do not hold to beliefs that experiencing is inside or outside, do not believe experiencing is mine or another’s. Do you believe otherwise? If so, please notice this.

What are you to do? Your everyday activities, your everyday openness, is this opportunity, your opportunity; washing your face, cleaning dirty dishes, listening and responding to a friend, driving in crowded traffic with those who speed, with those cutting in and out. You are entrusting them, giving self away to them, forgetting self, being awakened by them, by this particular moment.

What about those you do not like, with what is uncomfortable or troublesome circumstances, much less painful? How is this at meetings with colleagues who vehemently disagree with you? It is easy to be open with friends and relatives who are loving, kind and generous, though even here we are often not present, are self-absorbed, so that we miss this moment, this entrusting. Are you holding “past” in the present, blinding this moment? Look. Does holding blind you? Are your expectations driving you right now to miss this moment? These are your practice friends when you notice.

How is it with friends, relatives, when they are boorish or inconsiderate? When they are demanding or annoying? With offensive events, when fearful or even appalled? These too are entrusting this life moment, this Buddhahood, to us, whether they know this or not, whether we know this or not. What is your response? Not in some stereotypical way but as called for right now - this is your wholehearted life.

The Lotus Sutra chapter 20 is about the “Never Disrespectful Bodhisattva” who acknowledged and bowed to everyone he met, saying “I will never disrespect you, you are all to become Buddha.” Some hated this and attacked him verbally or physically. Even as “Never Disrespectful Bodhisattva” retreats, runs from them and their attacks, he bows and says “I will never disrespect you… you are all to become Buddha.”

Please understand this genuinely, not as some fantasy, some nicey-nice rules of how we should be, much less rules or ideas we wish to impose on others. If we impose rules or ideas on others or our self we may become angry or worse when they, or we, do not meet expectations.

What is “never disrespectful?”

What is responding right now, being open? What is the genuine responding of “never disrespectful?”

Being this moment as is is this life, this opportunity right now. What is acknowledging and nurturing this moment ongoing change, this Buddha Nature? Opportunity is moment, moment.

For you, as your ongoing life practice, what nurtures and supports experiencing your-our-life? What does advancing myriad circumstances call for?

Please reflect on this, let this be the base of life, of your functioning, especially when you are disturbed by circumstances, caught-up in reactive habits.

This experiencing, this noticing, this responding, grows naturally out of ongoing practice, manifests naturally ongoing zazen in myriad forms. This is our opportunity. And we must make our efforts.

What nurtures forgetting self, giving self away? Look closely. In this circumstance moment, what is entrusting your life, entrusting Buddha Dharma, entrusting the Buddhahood of the whole universe to this moment, to experiencing-responding?

Entrusting is forgetting self, awakening by myriad dharmas, being confirmed in manifesting myriad dharmas.

In your life today, what is the functioning myriad dharmas? What is not-two here? What is not-knowing now? Please reflect upon this, please live this. Taste and experience your life right now.

Yours is able-being-response, yours is response – ability.

© 2016 Elihu Genmyo Smith