February 28, 2014, 7:45 pm ~ by Shodo Harada in news
Rinzai Zenji said "always at home, yet forever on the way." It is said that there is no final destination in science that one after another, new discoveries are made; of course, there is no end or final destination. This is because in human motivation there is no ending. No matter the number of discoveries made and the amount of progress, the human process has to continue progressing. This is also on the way, no matter what we discover there is no ending to the discovering.
The life, which we have received from our parents, is one part of an infinite process. There is no point where we say, just this far, and there cannot be such a thing either. No matter what an excellent character we awaken to within, there is no such thing as "that is good enough."
Because humans have a never-ending mind to improve and evolve, we can be saved from the mind of disappointment and discouragement. For our whole life, until we die, no through all of our rebirths and more rebirths we polish our mind more and more. As the National Treasure Dancer said "still not enough, still not enough, dancing and dancing continuing to the other world...." these words are famous.
This development that humans have, this enthusiasm to evolve is the natural character of human beings. This is also the meaning of human existence. Yet, today because of humans ego filter and obstruction, our pure mind is lost. Politics, economy, education, art, religion have all forgotten that life is for the joy of all people.
In the very most basic building blocks of society today we have lost track of this joy as the as the most important point. This is because we have lost track of where our home is "always at home, yet forever on the way." This is the home of our true heart. There is no place as comfortable and as easy a place in this world as our own home. It is our own home where we can at anytime lay down in perfect ease, with our legs and arms stretched out and completely relax. That home where we can completely be at ease is our true destination.
For our whole life we have to progress, we are always on the way, always mid-process, yet still we must always have our home where we can rest in harmony and at ease. Every day every day is mid-process, on the way, and every day every day is our destination, our being at ease. This state of mind is Zen. Humans always have to be making progress and be optimistic and forward looking and each day has to be harmonious, satisfied, joyful and lived in gratitude I believe. If every day, every day, we are harmonious, satisfied and feel gratitude we will without fail make progress naturally.
This is what Rinzai Zenji was saying when he said "always at home, yet forever on the way." About that true home, Daruma Daishi wrote "To cut away all connections to the external world and let go of all concerns within. When our mind is like a tall firm wall we are at one with the true path." We receive the actual outside world exactly as it is, and without judging or criticizing it, if it is there it is no obstruction. This is what is called "za" or to sit. It is not about our body sitting but about our mind sitting. Zen is to sit and not be unmoved by ideas of good or bad. Our mind is moved around because at this time and that time the various things that occur to our mind blow us around. If we do not give them any attention at all, our mind is from the origin completely quiet. This is what is called the true home.
When we move forward we have to plant our moving foot firmly right down on the ground. When we put our next foot down the first foot has to be stable. We have to walk firmly one step after the next. The feet go forward and then progress can be made. Because our feet are in motion, we are still mid-way, because the foot that is down is firmly on the ground we are at home and at ease. In this way, we can for the first time make stable progress. Modern day people who are always in a hurry for a result and not watching their footsteps carefully will always end up falling over in haste. Or we run in a hurry to get somewhere, get exhausted and cannot continue. There is nothing you can do about that.
We have to awaken to an eternal being mid-way, a being on the way. We hold harmony as precious and everyday we are optimistic and forward-looking, "not sufficient yet, not sufficient yet". While making progress, we are every day full of gratitude and of a state of mind, which is at ease. When we realize this and live each day in gratitude then it can be said that we have done Zen training. If a person like this meets a catastrophe they will not be afraid, the wisdom of each place and each moment will be brought forth, they will not be confused by society's confused dualistic thinking but will know the response from the clear nature with which we have been born.
To hold this important and work on it daily is zazen and is how to realize the way of the Buddha. While seeing the outside world clearly and not be moved around by it, we make our faith firm. This is the way to walk through this dark world of today. This is Zen.