8/3 - The Fire of Attention p.31
May I have your ATTENTION please ...
The Fire of Attention ...
Joko's Rinzai-esque side comes out a bit with the hot fires and the sharp, burning swords and the 'full blaze' of a flaming Sesshin.
While Soto-istic sitting can seem soft and easy in comparison, rest assured that we burn just as brightly and cut just as sharply ... Soft water's flow will wash away the hardest rocks, sometimes slowly and sometimes in a flash.
Joke quotes Master Huang Po, "On no account make a distinction between the Absolute and the sentient world." I might restate it as, "On no account make a distinction between the world without distinctions and the world with distinctions. Then learn to distinguish too the world of with-without."
It is nothing more than parking your car, putting on your clothes, taking a walk.
But the way we perceive each of those acts can be worlds apart.
Re: the fire of attention
I would say that we can NEVER act inadequately to circumstances. How we act is just how we act. Of course, sometimes we act with a mind that is disturbed, angry, suffering, distracted, cluttered, off balance ... and sometimes we act with a mind that is still, centered, calm, peaceful, focused, clear, balanced. While our practice is about that balanced mind, I would certainly hesitate to call any part of life 'inadequate' ... even the parts we think are not adequate.
Originally Posted by Keishin
I would say the same about our "wasting energy." I would say that our practice is partly a recognition that we --cannot-- "waste" energy (a recognition of "no loss, no gain" ... even, if you will, as we take the train and turn of the lights to conserve energy). But, even while we cannot waste anything in life, there are certainly times when people use a lot of mental energy to create thoughts that tangle up their experience of the world. "Conserving energy" is about getting back to a kind of mental simplicity, I think.
Even thinking that we must "burn up" our thoughts and emotions on the Zafu needs to be handled with care, I believe. No part of our life is to be rejected or pushed away ... as such a term as "burn up" maybe implies a little. That is true even as we do, in fact, "burn up" thoughts and emotions on the Zafu.
Nothing is a waste or inadequate ... even the inadequate parts of life.
(I hope this discussion has not been an inadequate waste of energy.)