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Harada Roshi

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In the course of one's practice both on and off the cushion, how does one carry the dynamic tension of holding great faith and great doubt simultaneously?

Zen is about experiencing one´s true being. There is nothing but this. The 6th Patriarch said: Do not add on any ideas of good and bad to outer things, but only stay with true mind withing. This is called to sit. Inwardly stay immovable to matter what arises. This is our practice of zazen.

Yet in our daily life we are constantly seeing and hearing things and moved around by them.

Thus we become slaves to the circumstances. This makes it difficult to have a good balance. Then there are also the experiences of like and dislike, thoughts about gain and loss – this complicated shadow of the ego follows along. Our mind is constantly busy and engaged.

When we do zazen, we cannot practice zazen as a form, but zazen of the mind is important. When we concentrate, there is nothing that we cannot attain, the Buddha taught. We can use the koan MU, or a mantra, our seeing becomes MU, our hearing becomes MU. We slowly let go of ideas and use this MU as if we are mirroring the world. Let this ripen. This mirror does not judge and criticize. This empty mind then reflects the world. And for an empty mind, balance is imminent. One moment at a time, only right here and now can this mind arise and act. There is no confusion or attachment possible. This state of mind brings forth clear perception and decision making as well as functioning.

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