Sit-a-Long with Taigu: Being-Time

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Master Dogen expressed his complete vision of Uji, "Being-Time", in theGenjokoan ...

Firewood becomes ash, and it does not become firewood again. Yet, do not suppose that the ash is future and the firewood past. You should understand that firewood abides in the phenomenal expression of firewood, which fully includes past and future and is independent of past and future. Ash abides in the phenomenal expression of ash, which fully includes future and past. Just as firewood does not become firewood again after it is ash, you do not return to birth after death.

(Click through for more, and to watch today's talk and "sit-a-long.")

The translation continues:

This being so, it is an established way in buddha-dharma to deny that birth turns into death. Accordingly, birth is understood as no-birth. It is an unshakable teaching in Buddha's discourse that death does not turn into birth. Accordingly, death is understood as no-death.

Birth is an expression complete this moment. Death is an expression complete this moment. They are like winter and spring. You do not call winter the beginning of spring, nor summer the end of spring.

( Kazuaki Tanahashi's translation)

Rev. Taigu comments:

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As we sit, we may experience the world in a very different way. Self dropped, body and mind dropped, the usual way we experience reality is left behind too. In our daily life, duality is important, otherwise we would all end up dead after a few minutes walk in the heart of a city... Time appears linear, things seem to pop up and fade away, discrimination is our daily bread and tool. Nothing wrong with this view, but as Dogen points out, it is very much incomplete. Each reality in this is complete, each reality is a perfect body of reflection of the whole reality. Each reality is time. This idea we are swiming in a pool of time, or involved in a race against time, can be also dropped. In this nowness of now, being and time are experienced as one. Perfect as it is, each moment has no need to become.

Today's Sit-A-Long video follows. Remember: recording ends soon after the beginning bells; a sitting time of 20 to 35 minutes is recommended.

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