The middling or lowly can?t help wondering;
Will this hut perish or not?
Perishable or not, the original master is present,
Not dwelling south or north, east or west.
Firmly based on steadiness, it can?t be surpassed.
A shining window below the green pines —
Jade palaces or vermilion towers can?t compare with it.
Just sitting with head covered all things are at rest.
Metaphysical questions about death, the continuation of consciousness after death or the likes are not valid here, not relevant. Perishable or not is not relevant anymore. Wether it exists or not is not the point. Enlightenment even is not the point. Attachment to enlightenment has faded away. The whole bunch of expectations we come with, the burden of thoughts and beliefs, worries and pride just vanish. It vanishes when the original face, the original master manifests itself. Last year I went to the funeral of a good friend, at the cremation I cried and after I laughed, I had so many emotions but alive or dead I could not say and I did not care. I was surprised to see that at least what used to poison my mind, ready made answers and hopes and heavens of all sorts...had all gone. Irrelevant. Life was just life. Presence was presence. Was my friend somewhere or nowhere,it was not up to me to answer! Useless questions will return by themselves to the big ground of open-mind, vast mind. One just needs to rest in this expanse, without effort, allowing coming and going to take place, without following any movement. Forming the mudra with our hands, the seal with your body mind, Body of the moon, then you embrace things without being moved or touched by them.In Shobogenzo Bussho Dogen quotes Nagarjuna's poem:
Not dwelling south or north, east or west is the body of the moon, the roundness of the moon. Is the original master the historical Buddha? If one sits in suchness then not only the historical Buddha but also all Buddhas of the three time come into this. Sitting is the display of the three bodies of Buddha in one spot and one go. How do we do it? By killing one bird with on stone. Shikantaza is the enlightened activity itslef, unaware of its brightness, goaless activity open to the open. We are not busy targetting a state of mind, collecting realizations and understandings, we are not any more in the chase or being chased.The original master has no need to be reached or discovered, asked or begged. The original master, the natural ground of our being is totally and utterly involved in a selfless activity. I still remember the day when, as I was sitting in my twenties, it suddenly dawn on me that all this mess inside was ok because the huge background, the open space of mind was undisturbed by it. Even more, these bits of mental videos, scraps of crappy thoughts, mean agendas and emotionnal trips were glorious outfits of the big scenery. Coming out of it and returning to it. I remember crying and laughing as I was sitting in this solemn and dry dojo. It was no satori or anything of the sort, just the sudden realization of something that has been all along before even day one. That was also the first time that I kind of gave up the idea of keeping anything, chasing any state, achieving any wisdom...to pick it up very quickly after.[My] body manifests the roundness of the moon,
By this means demonstrating the physique of the buddhas.
The preaching of Dharma has no set form.
The real function is beyond sounds and sights.
All the colourful dreams about the spiritual experience we had, these castles made of sand, these jade palaces and towers are about the dreams and expectations we have when we start the journey. Amida land, Buddha land, enlightenment land, all these fantaisies are seen as pretty unreal.
A shining window below the green pines —
Of course, it looks like a good setting in the deep mountain forest, an ideal spot to sit your bum ...But again, wrong! This metaphor is also the expression of the Dharmakaya, the body of reality and truth and law permeating the Nirmanakaya, the physical world. The original brightness blazing form and skandhas, the perfect and simple dance of the original vast space with itself. You will find that in your morning breakfast, in the tube or the bus, anywhere. We must wake up to this. Wake up to this body and reality of ours as being the true treasure. The promised land is already given. As Sawaki kodo writes
the darkness of pine's shadow
It would be very tempting to make this poem into a very idyllic spot with a great view from the window and think in terms of dark pines versus shining window. Yet, the treasure room is not separated from here and now. All this confusion we moan about is the very fuel and path and even more, the very stuff the treasure room is made of. Just sit with head covered, kesa covering the head like boddhidharma. All things at rest is basically, all worries, business and extras not stired. You are all familiar with the picture of the glass of water getting clearer as the dirt gets to the bottom. But it doesn't mean that dirt is seen as apart from water, that water is now pure. It boils down to an endless appreciation of what is. To sit is to utterly accept and be grateful for what is.