SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: Fukanzazengi XCIII

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While Zen Buddhism generally does not take a stand (one way or the other) on questions of diety and the origins of the universe ... and while we concern ourselves primarily with the life right before our eyes, here and now ... there are several perspectives that echo Judeo-Christian beliefs:

For example, while the Bible has a "Story of Creation", no such story of universal or earth creation is found in Zen Buddhism. On the other hand, Zen Buddhists do tend to some suspicion (given the chain of a priori events required in universal history for you and I to be alive right now ... and the seeming original unlikelihood of our having been born) that there is something 'special' (or even 'sacred') about our coming into existence, our being alive as self-reflective sentient beings.

Furthermore, while a believer in God, in a time of personal crisis, may entrust her fate to the "Hands of God" ... Buddhists may entrust their lives to "the universe" (or to some nameless whatever that is the source of that), believing that we came from that, ARE that ... feeling that events (having come 'this far') will go where they are going anyway.

Finally, since we do find ourselves alive in this world, our home ... (and though the 'Precepts' are not 'Commandments', and while standards of 'right' and 'wrong' may vary among people) ... we all tend to believe that human beings should live for the 'good', not killing, not stealing, not harming others, etc.

We have already received the essential pivot which is the human body: let us not pass time in vain. We are maintaining and relying upon the pivotal essence which is the Buddha's truth: who could wish idly to enjoy sparks [that fly] from flint? What is more, the body is like a dewdrop on a blade of grass. Life passes like a flash of lightning. Suddenly it is gone. In an instant it is lost. [Nishijima]

You have gained the pivotal opportunity of human form. Do not pass your days and nights in vain. You are taking care of the essential activity of the buddha way. Who would take wasteful delight in the spark from a flintstone? Besides, form and substance are like the dew on the grass, the fortunes of life like a dart of lightning-emptied in an instant, vanished in a flash.[SZTP]


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