Cinnamon Applesauce and the Bodhi Tree

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(BENDOWA XVII)

In very poetic language below, using many Buddhist images, Master Dogen is expressing a taste of the deep inter-connection of all the world and all beings. 

Well, recently someone in our Sangha wrote of a similar taste, but expressed in modern, ordinary language. Don't let the "daily life" packaging, and references to "e-mail" "the tv" "applesause" and the "kitchen floor" make it seem less. I find each expressing something that is not two ... (Thank you, K) ...

So, as I'm sitting here typing this message, trying to concentrate on what I'm feeling and to translate that feeling into words, I, my computer, my office, my feelings, my mind working, and the words I hear in my head are all a part of something whole which would not be whole without any of those things. And, when I get an email from work with some task for me to complete, and that email distracts me, and irritation arises, and the sound of my kids watching TV too loud and banging around upstairs distracts me, and irritation arises, the chime of that arriving email, my kids, the sound of the TV, the sound of the banging, my own mind which constructs distraction and irritation, all are a part of something whole which would not be whole without any of those things. And that something whole would be whole with or without any of those things, and it will still be whole one millisecond later when conditions have changed. And while all of those things are interdependent, as the irritation is dependent on the distraction which is dependent on the sound of the arriving email which is dependent on the person who sent the email etc etc, yet these things are all a part of something whole which includes everything, indeed IS everything?

As I was standing in my kitchen eating a bowl of cinnamon applesauce staring at the counter and the barstools and the tile floor, thinking "How is this barstool me?", a dropping of thinking and a widening of awareness led to a view of that single moment where me standing there in my kitchen eating a bowl of cinnamon applesauce staring at the counter and the barstools and the tile floor was one complete unhindered whole that contained all elements, and my conception of "me" was just another barstool, so to speak, and the reality was the totality of everything at once, outside of time or place or frame of reference.

  
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When one displays the buddha mudra with one's whole body and mind, sitting upright in this samadhi even for a short time, everything in the entire dharma world becomes buddha mudra, and all space in the universe completely becomes enlightenment. Therefore, it enables buddha-tathagatas to increase the dharma joy of their own original grounds and renew the adornment of the way of awakening. Simultaneously, all living beings of the dharma world in the ten directions and six realms become clear and pure in body and mind, realize great emancipation, and their own original face appears. At that time, all things together awaken to supreme enlightenment and utilize the buddha-body, immediately go beyond the culmination of awakening, and sit upright under the kingly bodhi tree. At the same time, they turn the incomparable, great dharma wheel and begin expressing ultimate and unfabricated profound prajna.

From: Talk on the Wholehearted Practice of the Way - Kosho Uchiyama (with Shohaku Okumura, Taigen Daniel Leighton)





(remember: recording ends soon after the beginning bells;
a sitting time of 20 to 35 minutes is recommended)


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