Blog posts

Self Receive Use Oneness

“Self Receive Use Oneness” is one translation of the characters that make Jijuyu Zanmai. It is sometimes translated as “Self-fulfillment Samadhi” or “self-fulfillment and enjoyment Samadhi” or “Samadhi of receiving and using the self”. This is the middle section of the Bendowa by Dogen in Shobogenzo. This section is an incredibly poetic expansive description of … Continue reading Self Receive Use Oneness

The one mind is always present

Zen practitioners often talk about “Shin” and what is the proper translation for “shin.” The most common translation is heart-mind, though in the earlier days of translation it was only translated as mind. The problem being that in the east the discriminative mind resides in the heart and in the west, it resides in the … Continue reading The one mind is always present

The Paramita of Enthusiasm

In early May, Tenshin Reb Anderson Roshi came to Clouds in Water for a sesshin. On the 3rd night, he gave a spontaneous talk on enthusiasm during the last sitting of the day. It was a great boost. I became enthusiastic about enthusiasm, one of the Paramitas or Perfections in Buddhism. Enthusiasm has been translated … Continue reading The Paramita of Enthusiasm

Burning the flame of your life

From Katagiri Roshi: “Zazen is not a means to an end, it does not produce enlightenment. The zazen we do is shikan taza – just sitting. This type of zazen is to just become present in the process of zazen itself or wholehearted sitting. Enlightenment is not something you acquire after you have done zazen. … Continue reading Burning the flame of your life

Holding up the Moon

“Who sweeps the ground and also sees the moon? Holding up the moon, her sweeping is truly not in vain.” —Dogen Zenji from Eihei Koroku Our chores and repetitive actions that are the nuts and bolts of human activity are not simply mundane and therefore inconsequential. These activity; brushing our teeth, washing the dishes, changing … Continue reading Holding up the Moon

Babaji’s Instructions

I just received a T-shirt from Gentle Dragon, a priest at Clouds in Water. She got it at Mount Madonna Retreat center in California which centers around the teachings of Baba Hari Dass. On the back of the T-shirt it says: Work honestly Meditate everyday Meet people without fear And Play.

Shikantaza and Jijuyu Zanmai

Shikantaza (just sitting) and Jijuyu Zanmai (self-fulfillment Samadhi) In order to understand jijuyu zanmai, (self-receiving oneness Samadhi) one has to understand the underlying principle of shikantaza. as presented by Dogen Zenji.   Jijuyu Zanmai may be translated ji-as self or in oneself, ju-to receive or accept, and Yu-to use, work or function in concentrated union.  … Continue reading Shikantaza and Jijuyu Zanmai

Approaches to Awakening

We say our practice should be without gaining ideas, without any expectations, even of enlightenment. This does not mean, however, just to sit without any purpose. — Reb Anderson Roshi I was very interested while listening to a tape by Okumura Roshi when he said that right after the Shobogenzo was written and after Dogen … Continue reading Approaches to Awakening

Spontaneous enlightenment

Do we see enlightenment and delusion as two separate things as people commonly believe? (Jijiyu Zanmai). What does Dogen’s practice-realization mean in terms of our directed efforts in practice to awaken from our stories and see the truth of life? Or how do we actually live if The Circle of the Way is happening simultaneously … Continue reading Spontaneous enlightenment

The Total Personality

“Practice with our total personality,” Katagiri Roshi repeatedly said. What does that mean? How can we live our lives coming from oneness, which includes both our historic self and our universal self? They work together, mysteriously, simultaneously and constantly. Commonly we think, either/or. Either I am deluded (most of, if not all, the time) or … Continue reading The Total Personality

Circle of the way #2

“Our practice is not a kind of training for the sake of making an ignorant person smart, clever and finally enlightenment. Each action, each moment of sitting, is arousing Bodhi mind, practice, awakening and nirvana. Each moment is perfect and yet within this perfect moment we have a direction, the bodhisattva vows.” — Shohaku Okumura Roshi … Continue reading Circle of the way #2