In a simple way, how do we take our practice on the cushion and in our standing work, etc into daily life? Into the daily interactions with people? With neighbors and kids and customers and parents?
In our practice, as we sit more and more, we gradually learn to become what it happening. With our whole being, we unify with the present moment. We meet the present moment and melt into it. And our stuck places, as we meet them with brutal honesty, become them, in a cellular way, they move and dissolve and transmute. As we sit more and more, this becomes second nature. It is always happening. Like an arrow of focus, we meet reality and by meeting it and facing it, we find oneness with our total being. We are permeable, transparent. We become the entire zendo. This becoming is not so much what we are doing but something that naturally begins to occur.
As this time on the cushion or in our standing meditation deepens, we begin to be able to take that becoming, that unified state of being, into life. Walking along, we are able to become the flower we encounter. We see the flower and the separation between self and other dissolves. Our sharp state of mind merges with what we encounter. In the same way that we become permeable in zazen on the cushion, we now can move around and experience this oneness all of the time. We are listening to the pots singing in the kitchen. Life comes alive in new ways.
Gradually, we see that when we encounter another person, we can become them. There they are, coming toward us. We become permeable, transparent. Unified. We meet them from a distance. Feel them, and merge with them. So the same internal sophistication it took to open up in our zazen or the flower can be used to become the people we meet. As we meet them, that merging makes them feel uplifted by life, as we are uplifted, too. People will feel embraced and seen and appreciated, but not in a sanctimonious way, because in order to do it, to meet life with our total being, we’ve got to be real, real, real. Life is being lived through us. Life comes alive. We are not alone, but held by the universe. We’re embraced in a stream of ever-changing becoming.
14.84 ‘As I step slowly along to the sounds of running water, my wandering gaze catches the traces of flying birds.’vii*
Our practice is to unify with the present moment and become it all of the time. On the cushion, in our daily life, and encountering people all day long. In this way life is continually fascinating, alive, shining, mysterious!
My next blog post will be about the nitty gritty of being with people! HA! Fun! Thanks for reading! Good luck!
*Hori, V.S., (2003). Zen Sand: The book of Capping Phrases for Koan Practice (p. 566) Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press