January Osesshin Teisho Day 4

Master Daie writes about loosing a child, and that great sadness it brings. That knowing that being born means we will all eventually die. We live knowing this: Our families, our home, clothes all the many things that are our lives, we must leave behind. As the Buddha writes¨This object that we call our body : it needs to eat, to have shelter and we need to gather many things for this to be alive, but we gather more than is necessary, and so we suffer. We loose things and we get insecure and we get more miserable the more things we own. And with this body we have to separate from the ones we love. We get and get and get and we still want more and we are never satisfied. We have to live and sometimes we have to spend so much time near people we can´t even stand. And because we have a body we have more painful places as we get older. As the Buddha said: "no matter what a great awakening we have, we still experience suffering", "I am eighty years old its taking me everything to keep this body going, now I am about to be liberated form all of that suffering of this painful, old body".  "If you are sad that this is happening to me, then that is for yourself that you are upset". Don´t cry, look well at the actuality of your own life. What is it that is suffering through your weeping and crying, what is the deep source of that misery".

This is a hard place to settle in to. Even though we know we need these things to live, we always gather too many and we suffer from that, but it is not only that. We will have to return this body but this body, changes in every instant. Its true nature is actually not physical. What is it that received this body, that is the true master and it has no form.  We receive this body and as long as it is existing we use it and then we return it and then where do we go? Nowhere. Right here, we are simply the universe who received this body, used it and then returned it. And we return into being the eternal boundless universe, coming together with this form and then again, that form is lost. To see this clearly and directly, of course we are sad if we loose a friend or a parent or a child. We are naturally sad, to declare that we should not be sad because it is weak is totally not the point. It is like a reflection in the mirror that fades and leaves no remnant whatsoever, this is our truth. So when we are sad we should be totally sad, completely giving everything to our sadness, not leaving behind anything. And that, leaving behind stuff is what confuses us. To see that way of things cycling clearly. This is the Buddha Dharma. If we hold on to unnecessary thinking we create useless stuck places. We know with our body that it is impossible to know where have we gone, the present is moving, the future has not come yet. Everything is in flux. Like wind on waves, making those waves always change their form. And we can´t get upset at those waves for always changing their form, they are only in flux because they are phenomena and affected by that wind. We are talking about the ego idea which gathers things and external knowledge.

From the origin, we don´t come with that. A baby doesn´t come to this world thinking of all sorts of ideas and worries, but we eventually gather the awareness of an I, of an ego version.  And because we gather things and ideas an ego, we suffer more and more. But if we use it and not get used by it. And because we think we are that ego, then that is who we are.  That is fine if we use that way of looking at things to evolve, improve and develop ourselves, perhaps. But more importantly we have to realize our true nature prior to that ego, our actual origin. And this is how we are. A baby is always showing us our true form, we think we are so clever but that is only from gathered ideas we adopted. We have to see the source of that directly. We gather our  state of mind by focusing on zazen, that is creating the type of life we would like to have, but that can even bring a greater imbalance. If we don´t get stuck in our mind then that is fine from the beginning, but we get caught on that small self idea of who we think we are. We always want to get the best part of every situation and in order to let go of that we have to throw it all away completely.

As the Sixth Patriarch says: To not add on any thoughts to what we perceive and to not add any thought or concerns to what we are experiencing within. It doesn´t matter what thought comes along, we don´t give it any extra attention. For this we have the koans, yet neither of them are absolute. Whatever the practice is , is about not giving it any gaps. That is where the ego comes in, pokes through. To not cut the flow, to not interrupt its natural flux.

You are already thinking "It´s already Day 4 and I can´t do this..." You would never doubt yourself if you don´t interrupt the flux. But if we "try" to be quiet then it is like putting oil on flames, and the flames just go higher. Do not put in gaps: that´s it. Babies don´t think, but once we get the habit of thinking all the time, we get stuck on it. We think we have to think all the time and that is not the case, but our habits are strong. We just have to get rid of that habit. We get tired and thoughts come pouring in. It is as if we have to keep our efforts going without any idea to what will come out of it. And then, no matter what anyone says to us, we don´t let go of our focused attention. Do not think if it is good or is it bad, if I loose this, then what will happen...  Just do it with complete perseverance, just do it until we die totally and completely to everything. And for doing this, we can´t let go of our focus.

It cannot be done conceptually either, we have to see our every day state of mind clearly, and honestly. Where our breath is in each footstep and each hand motion. To not be pulled around by anything that happens around us, we put our awareness in our lower abdomen and we don´t think about anything else. Becoming the sussokan, becoming the koan completely,  do not try to understand it or it will get complex. Continue this way from morning until night, from night until morning we continue with  this focus.we become a deep essence within. giving our total focus to each and every moment. sitting, working, walking we become that Mu. we receive sadness and we become that sadness completely, becoming that pain completely. As Master Rinzai said: "if In every single moment we do not add any second thought or associations to what be perceive, then this is worth more in our practice, than 10 years of pilgrimage. Just as you hear it, leave it at that. just as yo taste it, leave it at that, just as you smell it, leave it at that. Do not add on anything to it. Leave it as it is. with nothing else added. and then you will see that the seeing, the hearing the suffering, as it is, is Buddha Nature. The pain just as it is is Buddha nature. Everything is an activity of Buddha nature, all that happens within is also Buddha Nature. But we spend too much time inventing things within. Like angry demons or hell realms. We don´t need to drag all these things around. Just as it comes up, cut it. Cut until there is nothing left to cut. Until we don´t know what is going on. We don´t know where we are or who we are. Just do it like this. Do not add anything extra to what we perceive. Deciding, liking, wanting something, everything is Buddha nature if you can just leave it at that.

The real nature of ignorance is  buddha nature, The illusory empty body is the Dharma Body. We pull things along and that is why we become confused and upset, we feel restricted, our legs hurt. We just have to leave it as it is. Not make anything extra of it. Just give it your all totally and completely until we don´t know who we are, becoming, dying completely into that Mu. If we are really absorbed like that, then the stamp of this experience is impressed into us. This is why this experience is so important for, it is indelebly impressed. And from this we know it as truth. There is no deceiving of one´s own experience of this. That stamp of no self and no other, of no heaven and no hell. But we let go of our focus mid- way. Master Daie is saying that he himself knows this and has total faith and trust in the way of doing this. But if we choose to stay moved around by the world outside; then Master Hakuin says: "For someone who has no karmic affiliation with this, there is no way to liberate them". Everyone is sitting in one straight line, it is only the ego that makes it half baked. As the Sixth Patriarch said: From the Origin there is not one single thing. There is really nothing to hold on to but even thinking about that is a mistake. When doing it, we have to do it totally and completely.

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