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Buddhadharma : Fall 2017
fall 2017 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly 55 Earthquakes and Blossoms Appear by Kobun Chino Roshi I’d like to reveal the natural nature of sitting fully as it is. If I put some con- cept on this, and make you understand what I think is an ideal way to sit, I would be a kind of special gardener who fixes boxes and lets you go through to become square bamboo. Or I would be an automatic newspaper man who runs a newspaper—whoever comes, I would just put you in the machine and make you flat, and you would come out a squished being, or something like this! Too much talk about zazen, or shikantaza, is not so good for you. It’s impos- sible to teach the meaning of sitting. Until you really experience and confirm it by yourself, you cannot believe it. It has tremendous depth, and year after year this gorgeous world of shikantaza appears. It’s up to you to cultivate it. Because you are buddhas yourselves, you can sit. Dogen named this sitting “Great Gate of Peace and Joy.” Simply, it is peaceful—eternally peaceful, pleasurable, and joyful. Shikantaza doesn’t have the name of any religion, but it is, in its quality, a very true religious way to live. Winter 2002 Not Going Elsewhere in This Mind by Toni Packer People frequently ask me, “Why is my mind and life so terribly restless?” I can’t answer this for you. Of course I can give answers, but we need to realize for ourselves that the nervous impulse to search for explanations and relief, and the impatient thrashing about to be free, is just more brain activity. Can there be a humble moment of being here without knowing? Can we let pain, discomfort and uncertainty be here without knowing? When people come to Springwater they say, “Here it’s relatively easy to be with problems. But it isn’t easy at home, in the office, with the family, or in a relationship.” Actually it isn’t difficult anywhere when it dawns what it truly means to be in this moment. It may be a moment of quietly listening to a spouse, to a partner or a boss, or carefully holding the steering wheel and let- ting the landscape go by, feeling the foot on the pedal, the touch of the uphol- stery and the different sounds of the motor. Or sitting at the desk, suddenly attending to the feel of the pen in the hand that is holding it, writing a check, experiencing the touch of the paper, the sound of the moving pen, the amazing appearance of ink patterns on the check, then tearing it off, the perforations giving way to the pull, one by one. Writing the check with loving attention is the only thing happening right now! There’s no need to slur over it, thinking of what else has to be done. There’s just full attention to what is happening right now. When this takes place it feels like a new discovery. Everything is taking care of itself. Not dutifully—it’s not a duty to work attentively, but rather it turns out to be a delight when it happens without force. It’s freedom from the burden of the future. Summer 2003