Encouragement to follow through with practice commitments

I wrote this note to people who are doing the 10-week practice period at Clouds in Water Zen Center. I thought others might be interested in Katagiri-Roshi’s quote and encouragement for daily committed practice.

We are at the halfway point in our commitments lasting until the Rohatsu Celebration on Dec 9th?

Many of us committed to meditating every day.  How’s it going?  Last week, I wrote about the doldrums and connecting with others to encourage our ability to be steadfast and follow through.  Find a way to encourage yourself this week.  Re-energize in some way.

If you feel that it’s impossible to follow what you originally set out to do,  then, sit down with yourself (and another person if you want) and refine your commitments to something doable.  Even a smaller commitment steadfastly done will reap some fruit.

I was inspired this week by studying Katagiri Roshi’s book for the Wednesday Time class.  He writes:

“Busyness has the great power to emanicipate itself. That’s why you want to find a way to be free from busyness and just be present quietly. This is quietness, tranquility.  When you are calm, tranquil, and still, twelve hours of time returns to no-time or timelessness. Can you stay with quietness? No, quietness has the great power to act. You cannot stay with timelessness or you would die, so timelessness must become twelve hours again.”

What I take away from this quote is

Time emancipates timelessness, and timelessness emancipates time.

Which means to me that I need everyday to go into quiet, calm, stillness to liberate the burden of my schedule and my “To do” list and free myself of the fatigue of samsaric life. We can’t or don’t even want to stay in timelessness because we don’t want to dismiss our one precious human life but rather to seize the day!  This quiet place inspires us to come back into our life; refreshed, concentrated and mentally clear.