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Thread: Zen as Embodiment (4) - i am you and we are they

  1. #1

    Zen as Embodiment (4) - i am you and we are they

    We undertake Bodhisattva Vows to "save all sentient beings, though beings numberless." It seems an impossible task.

    And yet, every instant of our own zazen saves all sentient beings, immediately and to the very last one. How?

    A single zazen sitting embodies all people, places and things, every creature near or far, each moment and all timeless time, all else which is nothing else held within this sitting, and our sitting just all of that. Nothing is left out, all is embodied in wholeness, whereby i am you and we are they and all of them.

    I am thusness, and you are thusness, and they are thusness ... and thusness is thusness ... so this sitting thusness is all thusness.

    And so, our own saving of ourself on the zazen cushion saves all people, places, things, creatures, grasses and galaxies, here and there and all the rest. What happens to us happens to all.

    And we save ourself and save all the rest in the realization, embodied in zazen, that there never were separate people, places, things, creatures, no separate any of it ... no separate ourself too ... from the startless-start, thus nobody and no thing to save, nor any lack in the wholeness, no coming or going, thus no danger or death or deprivation to be saved from. It is true, and nothing ever in need of doing, nobody to do it, nobody to do it to, this job already done.

    Yet Zen folks do not know reality in only one way, thus there is still much work of rescue to do, and the job is far from done. Why?

    Because, while there are no people, places, things, creatures and all the rest ... there certainly are! And the sentient ones among the people and creatures do not know this fact that the job is done, are lost in a world of separation, gain and lack, birth and death ... so it's our job to show em.

    Thus our work is to guide the sentient beings to know, as we know, that there is no sentient being, no death, no lack ... even as we all continue living in this world of sentient beings, creatures, things, places, time, death and lack. A Bodhisattva's Compassion is to open such Wisdom to all those suffering in the ignorance of division and lack.

    Thus our task is to save the sentient beings, although no beings to save ... because there are still beings to save ... all by experiencing this fact that there are-not-are beings-no-beings to save-without saving.

    But that is not all ... because while there is nothing lacking, no death (no birth either), no sickness nor body to be sick ... yet there are still hungry children in this world, those dying or knowing grief at another's death, fear, diseases and poverty. This is yet another truth which Zen folks simultaneously know.

    In the gentle Compassion realized in zazen, we personally empathize with all the hungry stomachs, broken hearts, scared children and ailing bodies of this world for i am you and we are but they.

    Therefore rising up from the cushion, though there are no sentient beings, no children, no hunger and all the rest ... yet there are ... so let us feed the hungry, nurse the dying, befriend the grieving, comfort the frightened children, cure the disease, end the war, and raise the poor out of poverty.

    A timeless moment of zazen embodies all of this, at once, as one, in each inch of our sitting and in each moment of our acting.

    Last edited by Jundo; 10-01-2020 at 05:28 AM.

  2. #2
    Wonderful teaching and full of wisdom. The absolute and relative, and the oneness of all things. Simply beautiful poetry.

    Deep bows

    Sent from my HD1913 using Tapatalk
    Last edited by vanbui; 10-01-2020 at 06:13 PM.

  3. #3
    Member Seishin's Avatar
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    La Croix-Avranchin, Basse Normandie, France
    I sit therefore we are one.



    Sei - Meticulous
    Shin - Heart

  4. #4
    I like the idea of salvation, or as you put it save ourselves and save all the rest in the realization. Some days, I have a tough time saving myself. Some tough issues arise, and I can't just return to the breath and push them away. I have to deal with the mess of my life while I'm on my zafu. There is nothing peaceful about zazen on those days. But not pushing stuff away is important. Saving yourself is hard work.

    On a less serious note, I love how your title to this thread conjures up a reminder of "I am the Walrus," by the Beatles. "I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together."

    Sorry for going longer than 3 sentences.


    sat today and lah
    Last edited by Juki; 10-01-2020 at 06:29 PM.
    "First you have to give up." Tyler Durden

  5. #5
    The lyrics to “I am the Walrus” came to my mind too as soon as I read the title of this thread.

    Thank you for this teaching Jundo.

    Sat today and lah
    泰林 - Tai Rin - Peaceful Woods

  6. #6
    Beautiful. Thank you.

  7. #7

    Kaidō (皆道) Every Way
    Washin (和信) Harmony Trust
    I am a novice priest-in-training. Anything that I say must not be considered as teaching
    and should be taken with a 'grain of salt'.

  8. #8

  9. #9
    Goo Goo G'Joob.


  10. #10

    A good series of short teachings, enough to last you a lifetime in relative quantum terms!

    SatLah, Tokan

  11. #11
    We are one and yet still have the vagaries of life yet no vagaries at all.

    Gassho. Thank you for the teaching.


    Sent from my SM-A205U using Tapatalk

  12. #12
    I'm playing catch up but this was a beautiful teaching, thank you.

    It's very simple and I already *knew* it but this really clicked:
    And so, our own saving of ourself on the zazen cushion saves all people, places, things, creatures, grasses and galaxies, here and there and all the rest. What happens to us happens to all



  13. #13

    It's easy to say "Wow, neat, I'll do that..."
    Harder to actually do it. But I'll put in the cushion time, see what happens.

    Kodo Tobiishi sat today
    It occurs to me that my attachment to this body is entirely arbitrary. All the evidence is subjective.

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