Wednesday, July 17, 2013

This Moment Life, Ongoing Zazen: Non-talking, Non-looking Around

Elihu Genmyo Smith

“To study the Buddha Way is to study the self, to study the self is to forget the self, to forget the self is to be awakened as the myriad dharmas. To be awakened as the myriad dharmas is to be free from one’s body-mind and that of others. No trace of awakening remains, and this traceless awakening is continued forever.”(Eihei Dogen in Genjokoan)

To forget the self is to be awakened as the myriad dharmas. “As” the myriad dharmas, rather than “by” the myriad dharmas, makes it clearer. Dharmas mean phenomena, inside/outside phenomena, mental/physical phenomena. To be awakened as this dharma, as this moment. This is nothing-extra life, which is myriad forms ongoing zazen. Being awakened as the myriad dharmas is to be freed from one’s body-mind, freed from one’s attachment to body-mind and to body-mind of others – since it is the attachment which entangles us and which results in suffering, unsatisfactoriness.

Our life is clear. The difficulties we have are only our lack of clarity. The pratityasamutpada, the traditional Buddhist twelve-links cycle of existence which results in suffering, stress, dissatisfaction, begins with avidya, which can be translated as “ignorance,” meaning lack of clarity of what is so. The Chinese translate the Sanskrit avidya as wuming (mumyo in Japanese), 無明, the characters for no-brightness or no-clarity. When we are not clear about what is occurring the result is samskara, or volitional formations, conditional formations, discriminations, fabrications, and accompanying stress and suffering.
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(c) 2013 Elihu Genmyo Smith