Here and There

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Where are you at the instant all thoughts of "here" and "there" are dropped from mind?

In Zazen, those words, those concepts, can be dropped quick away. The mind thinks the thoughts "here" and "there," and thus the mind can be let to stop doing so too. We need not experience some "here" where we are, as opposed to all "theres" where we're not.

So then, where are you?

At this instant, I ask you ... where are you not?

Why do we fill our heads with such limiting words as "here" or "there"? Or "now" and "then", "self" and "other" ?

Of course, we need limiting words to function in life. For example, I get up in the morning and I must go from "here" ... my house ... to many "theres" ... my work, my school, etc. We need "here" and "there" to live in this busy world of places to go and things to do. We cannot live without that. It is necessary, and not wrong.

But is that the only way to view reality? Is that the one way to live?

Can we, not apart from divided reality, experience too reality as without need or possibility for going elsewhere, no place to leave behind?

Historically, Zen came from India to China to Japan, then spread from Japan now to the West. It went from there to here and here to there. In the past, many Zen students travelled from place to place, country to country, to study the Dharma, looking for it here and there, wondering where it is found. I myself live in Japan, and sometimes go back and forth from there.

But need we do Zazen in a Japanese Zen hall? No, it can be done any place ... any place at all.

As well, if we drop all thought of "here" and "there", where is Zazen not being done? Where is Zazen not, right in the moment we are sitting Zazen?

So, Dogen Zenji wrote in the Fukan-zazengi:

Why should we abandon our own seat on the floor, to come and go without purpose through the dusty borders of foreign lands. If we misplace one step, we pass over the moment of the present.

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