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Harada Roshi

True Awareness

There is an inner revolution that occurs when we shift from seeking answers outside to looking inside for fulfilment. Searching outside leads only to further thoughts and confusion, while turning inside and letting go of the thoughts that arise one after another is the true path to resolving our deepest anxieties. The production of thoughts is a type of habit, and thus letting go of thoughts can also become a habit - a habit that gradually dissolves our profound attachment to the process of thinking. 
With the natural cessation of compulsive thinking comes the arising of true awareness (shōnen sōzoku in Japanese). True awareness is not confined to zazen, but can inform whatever we do, right here, right now, whether it be sitting or working or anything else. With true awareness our usual distracted, scattered consciousness gradually clears and we become vividly present in everything that happens, with our full attention on whatever is there. When working we are totally one with working, when meditating we are totally one with meditating,when eating we are totally one with eating. It is the same whatever we do. 
This boundless state of consciousness appears with the stilling of the scattered mind. The liberation from fear that accompanies this is a result, not of reliance on some outside power, but of awakening to the immanent truth of the mind. This is the essential feature of liberation in Buddhism, and particularly in Zen.


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