This blog is about the section in the Gate, Gate, mantra which says: going beyond constructions of time. In the past few years, I have practiced a lot on breaking open my “idea” of linear time. This practice has been one of the most powerful for me in terms of letting go of the obsession … Continue reading Beyond Constructions of Time #4
Abandon any hope of fruition. If there is a “time” which is more than just linear, than this Tibetan Lojong slogan makes sense. If we believe solely in a linear history that develops through time or over a period of time, then this slogan doesn’t make any sense. In development, there is hope for a … Continue reading Abandon any hope of fruition
“The day to day activities in the household of the Buddha-ancestors, is our house, our life and our activity. This doing and not doing, is imbued thoroughly with the total dynamic functioning of moment-to-moment reality. Nothing is left out and there can be great peace and ease in this understanding.” — Dogen Zenji. A friend … Continue reading The household of the Buddha-ancestors is our house.
“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
Sometimes to understand a koan or a passage from Dogen, it’s necessary to understand the language or a phrase. The phrases often have a symbolic or metaphorical meaning. Part of the beauty of Zen is our tradition of poetic images. Instead of using traditional technical language, our ancestors really challenged each other to come up … Continue reading Raising his eyebrows and blinking his eyes
We vow To enter each moment 6 and ½ billion moments a day to die and get birthed at superspeed into the moment to moment always, infinitely ever unfolding mystery of the “Now” Even blundering around Even lost in a haze Even a ½ a person There is never anything left-over Or outside the mystery … Continue reading Rohatsu Doshi Statement
Quotes from Suzuki Roshi, Zen Mind, Beginners Mind, page 27 “To live in the realm of Buddha nature means to die as a small being, moment after moment” This quote seems to support what we have been studying in Dogen’s Being-time. Our small being attaches to the appearance of life, to linear progressive time, to … Continue reading Losing our balance in a background of perfect harmony
The dichotomy we have been working with in Dogen’s Uji is time and timelessness. Another way of naming this duality is linear, sequential time and ‘being-time’. “Being-time” drops the moment down and touches timelessness or eternity or no-birth-no-death as Thich Nhat Hanh would call it. Each moment in Buddhist understanding, is the entire world and … Continue reading Does Time fly by?
From Uji or Being-Time by Dogen, a fascicle in the Shobogenzo: We set the self out in array and make that the whole world. We must see all the various things of the whole world as so many times. — Waddell and Abe Translation The way the self arrays itself is the form of … Continue reading Setting the self out in array
I am teaching a class on the Buddhist sense of Time. It feels like working with Time could be a complete avenue to awakening. We know that one of our primary admonishments is to “live in the now” but what does that mean exactly? Keats has coined a term called “negative capability”. I often use … Continue reading The Self is Time
Clouds in Water just finished a sesshin at Hokyoji Zen Community in Southeastern Minnesota. I have been coming to this land and this place for at least 35 years. This land and place is so conducive to sesshin. It’s simply a wondrous place to practice. The mountains, valleys, birds, bells, grasses, tiles and pebbles are … Continue reading The Circle of the Way