using the arrow buttons.
by clicking on the page.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider when zoomed-in.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field, and select "This Issue" or "All Issues"
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
displays sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays a slider of thumbnails. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse the full archive.
about your subscription?
Buddhadharma : Fall 2005
buddhadharma| 37 |fall 2005 can’t think of. Trust the vastness of space. Trust every single living being. Trust cause and effect: vast, inconceivably complex and wondrous cause and effect. This faith has unlimited possibilities. Think about not moving. Think about giving up all action. And remember, giving up all action does not mean stopping action. That would be another action. “Giving up” means giving up the attempt to do things by yourself, and embracing the way of doing things with everyone. Trust Buddha’s mind. Trusting Buddha’s mind means trusting all sentient beings. This is fearless love. You can give it all up, and then you can love every single thing. Dogen said, “Mind itself is Buddha. Practice is difficult; explanation is not difficult.” People like a practice where you can explain how to do it. It feeds the deluded karmic mind. First you do this, and then you do that, and then you do this; people like this. But what is easy to explain is difficult to practice, because the explanations move us fur- ther away from the practice itself, and we need all kinds of antidotes to get us back on track. “No mind, no Buddha” is not difficult to practice, but it is difficult to explain. Sitting still is not difficult to practice, because it’s just like the sky, but it’s as difficult to understand as the sky. Practicing goodness is like riding in a boat. When you make a bag lunch and give it to some- one who is hungry or take a present to someone who is sick, if you think you are doing this by yourself, you’re missing the point. You can’t ride in a boat by yourself. You need the boat; the boat gives you a ride. If you make a lunch for someone, the food gives you a ride; the food makes it pos- sible for you to make the lunch. All sentient beings give you the food. All sentient beings make the lunch through your hands and your eyes and your body. Without you, the lunch couldn’t be made. Without them, the lunch couldn’t be made. Now let me ask you: If the practice of all the buddhas and ancestors is being realized right now, who is it being realized by? If you answer “All beings,” you’re right. Yes – all beings! All beings are sharing the way at this moment. Never graspable, yet totally available. There is no other thing outside of this. My ques- tion is, do we trust it? Looking at myself, the only thing I can find that holds me back from completely trusting the prac- tice in which all sentient beings are now engaged is lack of courage: lack of courage to affirm all life, which is the same as the lack of courage to affirm death. Without being able to affirm death, I can- not affirm life. This is the courage that comes with insight, so I could say that what holds me back is a lack of insight. When I’m with some sentient beings, I lack the courage to meet them. I’m afraid of what he or she may do, and what I may do in response. So I hold back, and by holding back, I don’t affirm life. Holding back, I’m unable to care for the other person completely. But I can make a vow, which for me is the same as practicing zazen. The vow will not be to meet each person completely by my own willpower. I will not make that vow. I will vow to trust that all sentient beings meet in my life, as my life. I will witness the arrival of all things as my life. That’s my vow. What will be your vow? Do you want to com- mit yourself to the way of Buddha, the way that all sentient beings practice together? Or do you wish to continue an ancient karmic pattern of living by your own willpower? Consider my question and tell me the answer. Again and again, tell me the answer, so I can understand the heart of your zazen, the heart of your love, the heart of your wisdom. I recently saw a good example of the practice of just sitting in the form of Olympic women’s figure skating. These young women – actually girls, fourteen to sixteen years old – fully expressed themselves. They asserted themselves with extraor- dinary energy, strength, precision, and grace. What was so touching to me was that at the very moment of their fullest self-assertion they simultaneously surrendered to the entire universe. At the moment of most powerful self-expression – when they were flying through the air, performing amazing feats of turning through time and space – at that very moment they were completely vulnerable to the whole world. They were vulnerable to falling on the ice, they were vulnerable to nineteen judges’ minute and severe scrutiny, they were vulnerable to their parents and their coaches. A billion people were watching them. Right in the midst of their transcendent wholeheartedness, they were com- pletely vulnerable and open to the support and love of the entire world. It is this concerted and cooperative activity of all beings that the practice of just sitting celebrates and realizes. After the competition, these young champions were interviewed. They were shown tapes of their performances, and they were asked what they were thinking at the moment of their total, impeccable self-expression and complete openness to the uni- verse. As I remember, they weren’t able to say; they didn’t know what it was they were “not doing.” As Yaoshan said, “Even the ten thousand sages don’t know what just sitting is.” Just sitting is the dynamic interdependence of what we give and what comes to meet us. That is not a thing. Nobody knows what that is.