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Buddhadharma : Spring 2010
buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly SpRiNG 2 0 10 38 Zen master Dogen (1200–1253) said that zazen was not a meditation tech- nique but was instead the dharma gate of enjoyment and ease. Yet how often we stray from that reminder, especially when we are sitting alone. A technique is something we can do right or wrong, well or badly. True prac- tice is about being grounded in a place free from these dichotomies. So we need to frame our practice in such a way that we do not get lost in dualisms of right or wrong, progress or the lack of it. I have found that a good way of maintaining this perspective is to liken sitting to looking in a mirror. When you sit down on your cushion, the state of your mind and body automati- cally appears to you, the way your face instantly appears in a mirror. The mirror does all the work. You can’t do it right or wrong. Approach your sitting in the same way. You can’t do it wrong. It’s not a technique to master or something you can fail at. It’s just being yourself, being your experience of this moment, over and over. It’s simple, but if we’re honest, not always easy. Why? Because we don’t always like what we see in the mirror. We are tempted to either turn away or try to touch up our image. We want our sitting to make us what we are not; we want to be calm, clear, or enlightened. We’d practice: You Can’t Do it Wrong By Barry Magid alFredoChIzzonI©tIMdose