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Thread: Answers about Death and Happiness

  1. #1

    Answers about Death and Happiness

    What Happens When We Die ...

    ... and Does Zen Make Us Happy in the Meantime?

    YES!

    I was asked yesterday by a friend if Zen Practice provides us with a solid and reliable answer about what happens after we die, and whether this Path makes us "happy" in the meantime, during life.

    My response to both is a resounding YES!

    I believe that Zen practice provides a very clear and definitive answer as to what happens when we die: There is no "birth" and there is no "death" from the start, for quite simply, "we" are intimately all of reality manifesting as you and as me and as all things and events in certain places and times. Our "self" is empty, and we empty our self, pouring forth as each and all of this. In one way, of course, little you and little me rise for a time then fade, like waves on the sea or crumbling sand castles, someday kaput, dust to dust. Maybe our end is a virus, or maybe we get hit by a bus. Yet, when we come to know our "self" as more than just a "me," and realize identity in this manifesting wholeness and all other "selves," knowing ourself as just the "sea" that is flowing and every grain of sand, then there is no coming and going even as a "me" comes and goes, is born and dies, our personal waves and castles fading away. So long as the wholeness flows on and on, that is our original face flowing on and on, as all and as each and every drop and grain and happening and instant. This inter-identity and intra-flowing in and out is what is known first hand on the Zafu cushion as the hard borders of inside/outside drop away. Such is the Great Matter, what the ancient masters preach.

    As well, all phenomena of this world are simultaneously all other phenomena of this world, so "we" are the grasses and stars, all moments before/during/after our little lives, the viruses, buses and rusty tin cans, all sights and feelings of this world, whether billions of years ago or trillions of years to come, and are each other, just as we are ourselves (and I say that as someone who is otherwise rather skeptical of more specific claims about rebirth.) We are constantly "reborn" as each and all of that. We are also the results of causes that came before, and the effects of our actions ripple onward endlessly after our time, helping birth and make the sea into the sea it will be. Where the world goes after our small time is where we go, for all is just us and we are just that. More than just some intellectual idea of connection, when embodied as Zazen one realizes through and through this Whole Face that shines as our little individual faces. Slap one's face, whether yours or any other, and the sting is all faces.

    Now, do we come back as wild dogs or powerful gods, in heavens or hells? I leave that be. Let us just worry about this life in the meantime, because I see folks who act like wild animals, and make hells for themselves here in this one.

    And during our finite lives, I believe that Buddhism makes us Happy (Big H) if that means total equanimity, acceptance, flowing and embracing of all the sadness and happiness (small h) of life, a kind of Joy to sometimes be smiling and Joy to sometimes be crying, a Joy to laugh and a Joy to sometimes grieve. (If one reads closely all those "happiness" books by the Dalai Lama, that is really what he means by "happiness" too). While we are alive we have preferences, dreams and plans, hopes and fears ... but part of us can learn to flow and be "Happy" when our hopes and preferences are realized and also "Happy" when they are not and we are left crushed in despair, likewise for our fears. Sometimes our human hearts are glad, and sometimes they are broken, yet there is an unbreakable Heart (this mirror Face) which holds all the round or broken, smooth or shattered pieces. In this Path, we know the Flowing Whole that flows right through all seeming "win and lose, ups and downs" ... and there is ultimately nothing to fear.

    It is very simple really.

    Gassho, J

    SatTodayLentAHAND
    Last edited by Jundo; 05-13-2020 at 09:25 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  2. #2
    Thanks. Inspiring

    Sat/lah


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    _/_
    Rich
    MUHYO
    無 (MU, Emptiness) and 氷 (HYO, Ice) ... Emptiness Ice ...

    I may be wrong and not knowing is acceptable

  3. #3
    Everything is perfect.
    Gassho
    Onka
    ST

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    aka Anna Kissed
    Pronouns She/Her They/Them

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Onka View Post
    Everything is perfect.
    Everything is perfectly imperfectly perfectly imperfect.

    What is there when little human peabrains drop all their selfish measures of "perfect" and "imperfect"?
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  5. #5
    Thank you Jundo

    Beautiful echoes of Ecclesiastes at the start of that last paragraph.


    Kevin
    SatToday

  6. #6
    One casualty of this pandemic (for me) has been-- I've lost all belief/faith/trust in any concept of a deity. Longtime paradigm for me -- gone.

    I trust in science, experience, and observation. My ability to question, reason, analyze. And I am ok with doubt and not knowing -- ultimately, I know nothing. I can only guess and observe, surmise.

    "yet there is an unbreakable Heart (this mirror Face) which holds all the round or broken, smooth or shattered pieces. In this Path, we know the Flowing Whole that flows right through all" Jundo, i am very curious about this. "Unbreakable Heart" "Mirror Face" and "Flowing Whole" -- what are these? Names for a larger concept of All That Is? Feel like I grasp the idea but don't.

    The names speak to me of a greater wholeness that belies our often human frailty.

    Gassho, meian st

    Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
    迷安 - Mei An - Wandering At Rest

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Meian View Post
    One casualty of this pandemic (for me) has been-- I've lost all belief/faith/trust in any concept of a deity.
    Well, perhaps a Buddhist might respond that if there is a "deity" or "wholeness" or whatever, "it" sure does not leave the viruses out even if we human beings wish it was only the stuff we like.

    We take the world as a package deal, go along where the bus trip drags us (sometimes lovely and sometimes a cheap tourist trap), and our stay in this perfectly imperfect hotel of life is partly the towels we are handed, what's served for dinner including the soggy spinach, and the rest up to us. You can either complain and pine for the perfect vacation, or savor the trip you are on.

    Unbreakable Heart" "Mirror Face" and "Flowing Whole" -- what are these? Names for a larger concept of All That Is? Feel like I grasp the idea but don't.

    The names speak to me of a greater wholeness that belies our often human frailty.
    Right. Imperfect names and images for some wholeness that is a bit too big to fit as one name or idea between our ears.

    On the Zafu, we drop the names and just sit back for the bus ride. In fact, we are the bus and the whole trip, and the trip rides as us.

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    Last edited by Jundo; 05-13-2020 at 03:23 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  8. #8
    Thank you Jundo.



    Ghasso
    Bobby
    SatToday


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    "When you do something, you should burn yourself completely, like a good bonfire, leaving no trace of yourself."
    Shunryu Suzuki

  9. #9
    Thank you Jundo.

    There is no independent existence... there is no birth and death...
    And yet we live our life and we'll die our death.
    I trust that practice helps with all the above.

    Gassho,
    Kotei sat/lah today.

    義道 冴庭 / Gidou Kotei.
    Being a novice priest doesn't mean that my writing about the Dharma is more substantial than yours. Actually, it might well be the other way round.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Everything is perfectly imperfectly perfectly imperfect.

    What is there when little human peabrains drop all their selfish measures of "perfect" and "imperfect"?
    Life

    Sent from my SM-A205YN using Tapatalk
    aka Anna Kissed
    Pronouns She/Her They/Them

  11. #11
    Thank you jundo, for this insightful teaching!!!

    It's really interesting how the practice is changing our understanding in so many ways. When we sit zazen and encounter the fading of the border between "you and me", "in and out" and to have a feeling of this that's beyond life and death...we can realize that nothing is seperated from each other, that everything is part of that vast dance of life.
    And yet we encounter in our daily life the individuality, the world of the forms, and the sentient and insentient beings, the you and me the in and out and the imperfection..and return to the "market place" to be compassionate, to help the sentient beings, trying our best to follow the bodhisattva path.

    Gassho


    Ben


    Stlah

    Enviado desde mi PLK-L01 mediante Tapatalk

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Horin View Post
    It's really interesting how the practice is changing our understanding in so many ways. When we sit zazen and encounter the fading of the border between "you and me", "in and out" and to have a feeling of this that's beyond life and death...we can realize that nothing is seperated from each other, that everything is part of that vast dance of life.
    And yet we encounter in our daily life the individuality, the world of the forms, and the sentient and insentient beings, the you and me the in and out and the imperfection..and return to the "market place" to be compassionate, to help the sentient beings, trying our best to follow the bodhisattva path.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  13. #13
    What a "perfect" thing to read this morning, thank you Jundo Roshi

    Gassho,
    Jakuden
    SatToday
    清 道 寂田
    SEIDO JAKUDEN
    I am a novice priest. Any resemblance my posts may have to actual teachings about the Dharma, living or dead, is purely coincidental (and just my attempt to be helpful).

  14. #14
    Beautiful Jundo, thank you for that. What a great read before starting my day.

    Gassho,

    Joshua
    SatToday/LaH

    Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk

  15. #15
    Wonderful teaching! Thank you Jundo

    Gassho,
    Washin
    sat/lah
    Kaido (有道) Every Way
    Washin (和信) Harmony Trust
    ----
    I am a novice priest-in-training. Anything what I say must not be considered as teaching
    and should be taken with a 'grain of salt'.

  16. #16
    Thank you, Jundo. I have a busy day planned. I can take this teaching with me.

    Gassho
    ST-lah
    James

  17. #17


    Luigi
    ST
    "Zazen is good for nothing."
    — Kōdō Sawaki (1880-1965)

  18. #18
    Wise answers and wonderful teaching.

    Gassho
    Van
    SAT+LAD

  19. #19
    Thank you Roshi for sharing this

    Gassho
    Seibu
    Sattoday

  20. #20
    Life is just what we need, not what we want it to be.

    Thank you Jundo.

    Gassho,

    Kyonin
    Sat/LAH
    Hondō Kyōnin
    奔道 協忍

  21. #21
    Thank you Jundo.

    Gassho, Shinshi

    SaT-LaH
    空道 心志 Kudo Shinshi
    I am just a priest-in-training, any resemblance between what I post and actual teachings is purely coincidental.

  22. #22


    Tairin
    Sat today and lah
    泰林 - Tai Rin - Peaceful Woods

  23. #23
    "we" are intimately all of reality manifesting as you and as me
    Thank you Jundo. Deepest bows for this teaching

    Thank you REALITY for manifesting Treeleaf! It's so wonderful to share the bus with you all

    Gassho, Chris stlah

  24. #24
    I'd like to share this thread from Facebook, because I think it helps, and I have questions about it which might help others.

    Me: For most of us familiar with Western culture and or religions there is an assumption of some kind of afterlife and immortality of the soul. We go to “heaven” or “hell”, even concepts of rebirth , reincarnation or ghosts actually reflect an unwillingness to accept that death is the end of self. The question itself reflects the hesitation to let go of such notions. Zen gets right to the heart of the matter confronting us with the crucial counter question; are you so sure there is a self as you see it? That’s quite a paradigm shift for many people. Yet practice itself reveals just how much we are invested in the layers of ego we think are “real”, but reveal themselves to be illusions in the first place. This clinging can get us into and creates a good deal of trouble. My “self” wants there to be a magical place to be beyond death, but Zen teaches us being what is. There’s no real evidence for an afterlife and there’s no real evidence there isn’t. Yet how horrible to know I’ll be the same old smuck for eternity. Buddhism teaches us nothing exists; it’s all in flux. It’s egoic to want everything to remain the same. Striving for preservation of the propped up reality of an infinite personality is not something to embrace. Zen teaches us to let go and be WITH the flux, come what may.

    Jundo: Zen is not nihilism. Once the self is torn down, the result is not nothing. There is no afterlife because there was never a before life ... only the life of Buddha. The unchanging change is neither chaos nor does it stay ever the same for even a moment. There is nothing to preserve for nothing can ever be lost, even as things are constantly gained and lost. All of reality is a most magical place, but that magic is often most ordinary like rusty tin cans and bloody bandages. Best not to see things only from one side.


    OK My questions.

    I get that Zen is not nihlism. What does "Buddha" mean in this statement there is only the life of Buddha?

    Gassho
    Ishin
    Sat/lah
    Grateful for your practice

  25. #25
    Looking at this, I cannot call myself a Zen Buddhist, but I suppose I can still sit Shikantaza.

    To sit shikantaza it does not matter what I am or am not, or what I believe. I can just sit.

    Gassho2, meian/kim, st

    Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
    迷安 - Mei An - Wandering At Rest

  26. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by Meian View Post
    Looking at this, I cannot call myself a Zen Buddhist, but I suppose I can still sit Shikantaza.

    To sit shikantaza it does not matter what I am or am not, or what I believe. I can just sit.

    Gassho2, meian/kim, st

    Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
    I call myself a follower of the Buddha Dharma.
    That doesn't mean my knowledge base or practice experience is vast and full of insights because it's not. I'm just a muppet doing the best I can, how I can, with what I can, when I can. Nothing more. Nothing less.
    Pretty sure calling oneself a Buddhist isn't rooted particularly deeply in history either.
    Just as I personally believe that Jesus the person would burn down most Churches I reckon the dude we accept was pretty switched on and was called Buddha by others would possibly openly mock the ridiculousness of the Buddhist Religion as it is practiced in most places. I'm reckon all of the people recognised as being the founders of any philosophy that was later turned into religion would be the same.
    All the messages of the recognised founders are the same - don't be a dick. It's about the practice that resonates most with you that's the important part.
    But hey, who am I but someone who occasionally yells NO GODS. NO MASTERS. haha
    Gassho
    Onka
    St

    Sent from my SM-A205YN using Tapatalk
    aka Anna Kissed
    Pronouns She/Her They/Them

  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Ishin View Post
    I'd like to share this thread from Facebook, because I think it helps, and I have questions about it which might help others.

    Me: For most of us familiar with Western culture and or religions there is an assumption of some kind of afterlife and immortality of the soul. We go to “heaven” or “hell”, even concepts of rebirth , reincarnation or ghosts actually reflect an unwillingness to accept that death is the end of self. The question itself reflects the hesitation to let go of such notions. Zen gets right to the heart of the matter confronting us with the crucial counter question; are you so sure there is a self as you see it? That’s quite a paradigm shift for many people. Yet practice itself reveals just how much we are invested in the layers of ego we think are “real”, but reveal themselves to be illusions in the first place. This clinging can get us into and creates a good deal of trouble. My “self” wants there to be a magical place to be beyond death, but Zen teaches us being what is. There’s no real evidence for an afterlife and there’s no real evidence there isn’t. Yet how horrible to know I’ll be the same old smuck for eternity. Buddhism teaches us nothing exists; it’s all in flux. It’s egoic to want everything to remain the same. Striving for preservation of the propped up reality of an infinite personality is not something to embrace. Zen teaches us to let go and be WITH the flux, come what may.

    Jundo: Zen is not nihilism. Once the self is torn down, the result is not nothing. There is no afterlife because there was never a before life ... only the life of Buddha. The unchanging change is neither chaos nor does it stay ever the same for even a moment. There is nothing to preserve for nothing can ever be lost, even as things are constantly gained and lost. All of reality is a most magical place, but that magic is often most ordinary like rusty tin cans and bloody bandages. Best not to see things only from one side.


    OK My questions.

    I get that Zen is not nihlism. What does "Buddha" mean in this statement there is only the life of Buddha?

    Gassho
    Ishin
    Sat/lah
    My opinion on "There's only the life of Buddha..."

    ...I think it says that everything that exists is just this isness, that nothing is seperate, thich nath hanh emphasizes the interbeing, that there's nothing that stands alone, nothing that is for itself, that's the emptiness from a seperate self.. jundo explained the great dance, that everything is a manifestation, everything is constantly changing nothing is fixed..or the bus tour jundo also explained once..
    I also like the image of a mirror that reflects everything and yet isn't clinging nor pushing away the things appearing on it. Although the reflections seem separate, we cannot isolate them from the mirror... I think we can use many concepts and metaphors, but we cannot grasp it by thinking or talking...we better sit down and try to "embody Buddha"

    Gassho

    Ben

    Stlah

    Enviado desde mi PLK-L01 mediante Tapatalk

  28. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Ishin View Post
    What does "Buddha" mean in this statement there is only the life of Buddha?
    My answer to the question, if I understand it correctly, is the Heart Sutra.

    Quote Originally Posted by Horin View Post
    ...I think it says that everything that exists is just this isness, that nothing is seperate, thich nath hanh emphasizes the interbeing, that there's nothing that stands alone, nothing that is for itself, that's the emptiness from a seperate self.. jundo explained the great dance, that everything is a manifestation, everything is constantly changing nothing is fixed..or the bus tour jundo also explained once..
    I also like the image of a mirror that reflects everything and yet isn't clinging nor pushing away the things appearing on it. Although the reflections seem separate, we cannot isolate them from the mirror... I think we can use many concepts and metaphors, but we cannot grasp it by thinking or talking...we better sit down and try to "embody Buddha"
    What he said.

    Gassho
    Sat today, lah
    求道芸化 Kyudo Geika
    I am just a priest-in-training, please do not take anything I say as a teaching.

  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Ishin View Post
    What does "Buddha" mean in this statement there is only the life of Buddha?
    Well, the word "Buddha" tends to have some rather different meanings in Buddhism: One is that guy who lived and died in India 2500 years ago or so, and other is a code-word for "The Universe, Everything, Reality, the Kitchen Sink, the Whole Enchilada and anything and everything that may be found perhaps beyond even that."

    I feel that Horin expressed this very elegantly ...

    ...I think it says that everything that exists is just this isness, that nothing is seperate, thich nath hanh emphasizes the interbeing, that there's nothing that stands alone, nothing that is for itself, that's the emptiness from a seperate self.. jundo explained the great dance, that everything is a manifestation, everything is constantly changing nothing is fixed..or the bus tour jundo also explained once..
    I also like the image of a mirror that reflects everything and yet isn't clinging nor pushing away the things appearing on it. Although the reflections seem separate, we cannot isolate them from the mirror... I think we can use many concepts and metaphors, but we cannot grasp it by thinking or talking...we better sit down and try to "embody Buddha"
    Lovely. I would just say that we may even leap past human concepts of "is" and "being." I like to say that, if Hamlet had been Zen Buddhist, he might have allowed for some third possibility beyond a simple either "to be or not to be."

    We don't say that this is meaningless, dead, lifeless, so we are definitely not "nihilists." Neither are we so bold as to claim to know everything about it, because simply, our human brains probably can't process all this, any more than my cat or an ant can understand my computer as anything more than something to sleep on or crawl across. So, Zen folks tend to avoid too easy labels for it although, yes, sometimes we call it "Buddha" or "Dharmakaya" or "the Absolute" or some such silly names. Some other folks have other silly names. Wise folks sometimes skip all the names.

    We do sense that there is some wholeness and intelligence to the whole shebang, whether some kind of mathematical harmony or natural laws or something more which we might actually define and recognize as "intelligence" (I suspect that we could not process the reality completely any more than my cat or an ant can process what I am typing on this screen). We know for a 100% certainty that it can think, see, hear, taste, touch and smell for the simple reason that we can think, see, hear, taste, touch and smell ... and we are it, and it is us. **

    ** (I mean, we are not merely residents of this universal house we find ourselves temporarily renting and living in, but seem to be more the house which somehow has given birth to its own residents! For whatever reason, over billions of years, the bricks and beams of the house evolved to birth people and ants and cats that seem to appreciate living in the house, feast from its kitchen and gardens, and sometimes make a disgraceful mess of the place with our internal squabbles, junk and failure to properly maintain it. Maybe future residents will appreciate it more. The house somehow sprung up residents who think, see, hear, taste, touch and smell and thus make use of the kitchen, able to appreciate the place and make a house a "home." No, we are not sure all the details about how this house gave birth to its own tenants, but it is pretty amazing that it did ... and here we are, conscious and aware, lease in hand. Since we, the tenants, are alive, conscious, intelligent and aware ... and since we are the house as much as the bath tubs and floor tiles ... we can be 100% sure that the house is also alive, conscious, intelligent and aware, at least to the extent of us, because we are the house ... not only housing us ... but the house housing as us who are also the house.

    I suspect and hope ... because we are still real idiots! ... that the house is more intelligent than us. We are like the cat and the ant, far from the highest measure of the potential consciousness and awareness of this "smart" house. At least, I suspect so. I mean, it would be quite the coincidence if a wild forest and a dumb stone quarry somehow by chance and evolution alone wound around totally by dice rolls to form beams and kitchen, bathtubs and garden, then you and me sitting here by the fireplace, smoking our pipes and reading Chaucer or watching Seinfeld. I suspect that there is something more to that surface happenstance. I suspect that the universe tries planets and planets of houses, most of which remain piles of lumber, mud holes, simply uninhabitable ... but some of which become split level ranch houses, a further subset of which become fully furnished with a full set of appliances, fully stocked refrigerator, sofas and chairs, and living asses to sit in them. Seemingly, the house could have remained empty, or a pile of uncut lumber and raw stone, or had only ants, or had other tenants than you and me ... and yet, here you and I sit in our chairs. I suspect that a house ... or at least, the vibrant neighborhood which gave rise to the house as well as lots of other houses, some of which are likely habitable if most maybe not ... needs tenants so as not to itself be totally empty and unrented. Kitchens needs cooks, and bathrooms need bathers. On the other hand, if we crazy dumb ass humans are the best this universe can do, even if with Chaucer and Seinfeld, then it is a pretty poor dumb ass universe! I suspect that the universal development company ... be it nature or something more ... having a seemingly endless supply of universal building materials, takes a "shotgun, see what sticks" approach to house building, some of which works out, some which never gets off the ground, and some of which ends up burning the place down ... and we are just temporary caretakers of this apartment pending future building and expansion, assuming we don't burn the place down first with us inside! No, not perfect ... the pipes sometimes leak, the boiler overheats, the chairs are often lumpy, our fellow room mates can often drive us mad or act like madmen, and sometimes a virus sends us to our sick beds ... but not too bad, especially considering the rent charged. )

    In any case, we don't really need to know all the details. To be a Zen fellow is like being a sailor on the sea. The sailor does not know every inch of the sea, every wave, every coastline, every grain of sand on every beach, every fish ... but he can taste the whole salty thing in every single drop on his fingertip. She then sails, reading the wind, doing her best to avoid the rocks as long as possible (some of us sailors are better at that than others). The one thing we know is that we are the sea, the sea gives us life, the sea is us, we give life to the sea. This is Master Dogen's famous image from Zenki in Shobogenzo ...

    Life can be compared to a time when a person is sailing a boat. On this boat, you are working the sail, you manage the rudder, you are handling the pole. At the same time, the boat is carrying you, and there is no “you” to sail without the boat. By your sailing of the boat, this boat is made to be a boat. Please study and understand profoundly just this instant of the present. Understand this fully. At this very instant, everything is nothing other than the world of the boat. The sky, the water and the shore have all become this time of the boat, which is very different from what this time would be if there were no boat. Thus, life is what you make of it, and you are what life is making of you. While you are sailing in the boat, your body and mind, self and environment, are all essential pivot points of the boat; and the entire earth and all of space are all essential pivot points of the boat. That is to say, life is the self, and the self is life
    That is the "Life of Buddha."

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    Last edited by Jundo; 05-16-2020 at 12:19 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  30. #30
    Nice'n'jazzy Jundo!

    Thank you

    Gassho, Chris stlah

  31. #31
    Thank you Jundo.

    Gassho.
    Guille
    Sat


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  32. #32
    I had another break-through with the stubborn and recurrent death anxiety that was very intense during the Fall of 2019. I was lying in bed and thoughts of death kept intruding (which had become normal after so many months) and something I think I remember getting out of The Power of Now way back in 2006 came to mind: "If what is bothering me feels so immediate and real, then I should be able to look around and see some evidence that it is real." I looked around and I did not see death or any trace of death, all I could see was my spouse who I love very much and my eyes started to well up and I felt so much beautiful relief. Instead of death, I get to have love.

    Gassho
    Kyōsen
    Sat|LAH
    橋川
    kyō (bridge) | sen (river)

  33. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by Kyōsen View Post
    "If what is bothering me feels so immediate and real, then I should be able to look around and see some evidence that it is real." I looked around and I did not see death or any trace of death, all I could see was my spouse who I love very much and my eyes started to well up and I felt so much beautiful relief. Instead of death, I get to have love.
    Hah. Death is always right around the corner for any of us, at any moment, as real as real can be. Fortunately, however, we also don't quite believe in death. Master Dogen wrote in Shobogenzo-Shoji (Life and Death):

    When it is called life, there is nothing but life. When it is called death, there is nothing but death. If life comes, this is life. If death comes, this is death. There is no reason to try to escape from it, and their is no reason to cling to it either.

    This life and death is the life of the Buddha. If you try to throw it away you lose the life of the Buddha. If you cling to it you also lose the life of the Buddha, and you will obstruct the activity of Buddha. When you neither deny nor seek, you are manifesting the mind of the Buddha. But don’t try to measure this by your mind. Don’t try to explain it by your words.

    When you let go of your body and mind and forget them completely and you throw yourself into the Buddha’s abode, then everything is done from the side of Buddha and you just follow along without effort or anxiety – you break free from life’s suffering and are Buddha yourself. How can you then have any hindrance in your mind?
    https://antaiji.org/en/classics/shoji/
    As well, love is but a dream. However, it is a wonderful and joyous dream, so may you dream it long and well!

    Gassho, J

    SatTodayLAH
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

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