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Hoko
03-14-2021, 05:08 AM
Hi all,

Just wanted to share something that leaped out at me recently when re-reading Kōshō Uchiyama's "Deepest Practice, Deepest Wisdom".

While re-reading the translation of Dōgen's Uji (Being Time, or in this version "Living Time") there is a footnote to the following line from Uji:

"Sit and practice until it is thoroughly clear that if uji were not all the power of kyōryaku (moment by moment change/alive-ness) not a single thing would manifest, nor would there be any moment-by-moment [life]."

In the footnote to "sit and practice" it is written:
"the original term sangaku derives from the four character Chinese expression sanzen gakudō. This expression was often used by Dōgen as a sort of signal or signpost that the following sentence is very important. The English word "study" doesn't convey the impact of the original which means, literally, to sit zazen and practice the Way. The san of sangaku can also be read mairu, meaning "to go toward or approach something", although it can also mean "to give into or surrender"; Uchiyama Rōshi often defined sanzen in this way. "Surrendering to zazen" is the same as Rōshi's "opening the hand of thought". It demonstrates a truly religious attitude towards life as opposed to an attitude that would use such as in as a psychological or self-help tool. The use of zazen in the field of psychotherapy is fine, but then, it should be understood that such a use is only an example of utilitarian zen, not of Zen in the religious sense.

This footnote holds significance for me. When I started Zen practice over a decade ago it was to get away from faith-based religions and to escape "the anxious quiver of being". Consequently I approached It in a purely utilitarian fashion with an attainment mindset. In hindsight the consequences were predictable. However after a long while of "just sitting", zazen became less of "something you do" and more of "something You let happen". Body & mind drop off and that-which-happens... simply happens. Surrendering to "that-which-happens" increases faith in "that-which-happens". And it is not a faith in the Judeo-Christian sense of "belief without requiring proof"; it's more of a faith in the sense of "proof without requiring belief".

Thank you all for your practice.

Gassho,
Hōkō

SatToday and LAH



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Jundo
03-14-2021, 07:42 AM
Lovely.

And, if someone is still bothered by words like "religious" or "sacred" or "faith" or "religion" there is not need to get hung up. They are just words. It is okay to turn to other words if those carry baggage for someone.

Perfectly fine to substitute just "profound" or "wondrous" or "deep trust" or "Way" or the like.

The point is that, as you say, it is not a "self-help" technique or therapy. It is a profound realization of the intimate identity of our self and all we do, and all things and all they do, with the wholeness of this life and world, and we have deep trust in Zazen that it embodies the same ... which we ultimately experience first hand in the bones and practice in our walking of this Way.

Gassho, J

STLah

Washin
03-14-2021, 10:36 AM
Thank you, Hoko gassho2

Gassho,
Washin
stlah

Kevin M
03-14-2021, 10:45 AM
Nicely expressed insight, Hoko. Thank you.
Gassho,
Kevin
Sat


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Tairin
03-14-2021, 01:41 PM
Lovely. Thank you for sharing that passage and your thoughts with us Hoko.

gassho2
Tairin
Sat today and lah

Seikan
03-14-2021, 02:22 PM
...it's more of a faith in the sense of "proof without requiring belief".


These words, in particular, really struck a chord with me. Thank you very much for this teaching Hoko. gassho1

Gassho,
Seikan

-stlah-


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Nengei
03-14-2021, 09:58 PM
gassho2

Gassho
Nengei
Sat today. LAH.

Jakuden
03-14-2021, 10:28 PM
gassho2

omom
03-15-2021, 07:15 AM
gassho2

Gassho

Onkai
03-15-2021, 01:13 PM
gassho1

Gassho,
Onkai
Sat/lah