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Harada Roshi

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Is practice a bit self indulgent and whether we know it or not we may be quite simply chasing after quite pleasant mind body states? Where the chasing is done in a fairly refined and skilful manner of non chasing and specific type of allowing. When we find that this practice can give rise to quite unique experiences of rapture, bliss and joy does that then not become the goal and not some noble or heroic search for truth or reality? I worry about this because people who are focused chasing their own pleasure are invariably quite selfish and unpleasant. Also we see that the Buddha often juxtaposed sukha joyful ease with duhka unsatisfactoriness or suffering. One translation of this might be simply fill the existential hole of lifes fundamentally painful realities with some transitory joy which is at best a fairly temporary and superficial fix. What do you think is a right view ?

Of course it is natural for human beings to search for happiness. As Hakuin Zenji says in his song of Zazen: "If we listen even once with open heart to this truth, then praise it and gladly embrace it, how much more so then, if on reflecting within ourselves we directly realize Self nature, giving proof to the truth that Self-nature is no nature. We will have gone far beyond idle speculation." When we sit zazen and our mind settles, we experience joy, which again leads us to raise our vow to go even deeper. This joy actually is our chance to experience awakening.

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