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Buddhadharma : Spring 2018
74 BUDDHADHARMA: THE PRACTITIONER'S QUARTERLY expresses this when he writes in Bendowa (“Wholehearted Practice of the Way”): To suppose that practice and realization are not one is nothing but a heretical view; in buddhadharma they are inseparable. Because practice of the present moment is practicerealization, the practice of beginner’s mind is in itself the entire original realization. Therefore, when we give instructions for practicing we say that you should not have any expectation for realization outside of practice, since this is the immediate original realization. Because this is the realization of practice, there is no boundary in the realization. Because this is the practice of realization, there is no beginning in practice. —translation by Tanahashi, Moon in a Dewdrop: Writings of Zen Master Dogen We are not waiting for realization to arrive, as it is manifest in the now of being–time. Being fully present ourselves, here and now, in company with others, is realization. The whiskstaff representing realization and the pillarlantern representing dharma training are not so far apart. They are all speaking the truth of realization as it is actualized in practice. This practice is in and of itself realization. For the time being, I’m Mr. Chang or Mr. Li. For the time being, I’m the great earth and heavens above. “Mr. Chang or Mr. Li” is the same as saying “every Tom, Dick, or Harry” in English. Yet, as common as we are, when we look into the night sky, do we also recall that we too are made of stars? The true nature of our life is that we are not separate, we interare (as the Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh would say). We know from scien tific study that the carbon from the Big Bang is also in us and in all things. We know from observation that in this very moment we are dependent upon heaven, earth, and everything in between for our very life. We cannot live without air and water. We are dependent upon and enmeshed with all beings for all time, at this moment. Yet we persist in thinking there is a disconnect between ourselves and others. What a trick our senses play on us! This great life of the cos mos is just the everyday life of the common person.