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Our ancestors lived with huge grace: living and dying in the Dharma...
Harada Roshi

Sixth Patriarch Zen

Huineng, the Sixth Patriarch, spoke of “one-practice samadhi” (ichigyō zanmai). That is, Pure Land Buddhists persevere their entire lives with nembutsu practice, Lotus school believers persevere their entire lives with reciting “Namu Myōhō Renge Kyō,” and Zen practitioners persevere their entire lives with zazen. What Huineng intended by the term “one-practice samadhi” is not entirely clear, but it can be said that an overly literal interpretation of this concept risks binding a person in form and losing sight ofHuineng’s true meaning. For example, if one regards zazen as absolute one can end up believing that as long as one remains deeply focused while sitting in the meditation hall one is fulfilling the requirements of one-practice samadhi. If that focus is lost while outside the meditation hall, however, this is not true one-practice samadhi based on shōnen sōzoku. The true awareness of shōnensōzoku is something that continues twenty-four hours a day. If you’re just sitting for twenty minutes every now and then or if your practice is confined to sesshin, then the true meaning of zazen will never reveal itself to you. 
The“practice” that Huineng refers to when he speaks of “one-practicesamadhi” is, in essence, function or activity. If we do not maintain samadhi in the midst of activity, if the mind is wandering here and there and we do not continue our zazen practice while seeing, listening, smelling, tasting, feeling, and thinking, then the practice is not genuine. True awareness must always be present. TheVimalakirti Sutra points to this when it refers to “direct mind”(jikishin) in the statement, “The direct mind is the place of enlightenment.” The direct mind of which the sutra speaks is a mind that is never stagnant but always flows like pure running water, that is vibrant and clear, and that is immediate in its perception. This is living zazen. 


Shonen sozoku
Continued pure mind moments


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