Monday, March 23, 2015

Being At Ease

By Elihu Genmyo Smith

Our life is being at ease, joyous.

This doesn’t mean easy. At ease. At ease is the nature of life - and it is necessary “to be” at ease. Dogen Zenji writes in Fukan Zazengi, “Zazen (sitting Zen) is the Dharma gate of ease and joy.” Often our life does not seem at ease, joy; instead it seems dis-ease - “dis” in the sense of negate - believing what is not, a disease of believing stories about likes and dislikes, believing differences, and suffering without seeing the ease and joy of differences.

At a Smith family gathering, I meet lots of Smiths; Sara, Sam, David, and so forth. If I only pay attention to the Sara, Sam, I may notice the differences among them, and may react to these differences. However, if I attend to the fact that we are all “Smith”, I notice we are all the same. The fundamental truth of our life is we are the same and we are different. Differences include sameness, and sameness includes differences. 
Therefore, while attending to the differences I am aware of the Smith sameness, knowing that we are a gathering of Smiths. While noticing or saying Smith, I also attend to the David of David Smith, the Sara of Sara Smith - otherwise I will mix them up and when I want to bring food to a hungry David may bring it to satiated Sam or even worse to allergic Sara. To David Smith I say David and know it includes Smith – no need to say Smith; I could say Smith and know it includes David. So, I need not react to the “Davidness” - because he is also Smith. And we need to see clearly (or hazily), David is just David – nothing else; Smith is just Smith - nothing else. Unfortunately we are used to attaching and reacting to differences, to what we believe they are and are not, what they should and should not be - and this often results in difficulties; therefore it is important in life, in ongoing Zen practice, to clarify sameness, experience sameness. And please do not get stuck on sameness....

For the rest of this article see:

© 2015 Elihu Genmyo Smith