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  1. #1



    Ordinarily, we feel that we are separate individuals, each an 'I who's in' the world, either loosely or more closely connected as family, co-workers, citizens of a country and the like. The sun shines above, the ants crawl below, the days and years pass. That is one perspective on things, useful and necessary in daily life ...

    ... but also the source of conflict and suffering.

    Sometimes I hear Zen folks say that we are beings who are all "interconnected." We depend on the air we breath, the sun in the sky, and each other. It is true. Yes, this is the case. We share this common boat of a world and universe, and we had best learn to live together, to share it nicely. "Interconnected" is a beautiful and powerful reminder to cherish each other and the planet that is our home. We need to learn its lesson.

    However, "interconnected" ain't even the half of it:

    Sometimes, in Zazen, the hard borders soften, and we may experience that all things, people and moments interflow in and out of all things people and moments, and "inter-in" too, as each-and-all fully contain each-and-all and each other and the whole shootin' match. We are the whole world and universe and all time, and the whole world and universe and all time flows in and out and is fully contained in each hair and atom of our bodies, every dewdrop, any tick of the clock, with room to spare. Now, that's an in-and-out-and-all-within-interflowing-interining-insight!

    Still, do not stop there:

    Sometimes, one clearly realizes that we are interidentical, in most intimate and radical sense, such that the bird is the fish flying in the sky, while the fish is the bird swimming ... not mere reflections of each other, but precisely each other in varied guise. The mountain is you mountaining, and you are the mountain walking on two legs, you are the mountain living your life ... all while I am you, you are me, the mountain is the bird and fish and stars and rusty tin cans and blood drops on a battlefield and on and on. You are every single sentient being that has ever lived, lives or ever will live, and they are precisely you ... as much as you are you ... and all the insentient too. It is a radical redefinition of who we are, knocking down the names and borders. As the dead are the living when dead, and the living are the dead just living, there can be no death here, nor birth either ... even as things come and go.

    Not to mention, there's immutable THIS which this's all this. Master Dogen called this THIS as "INMO," meaning something like the ineffable 'WHAT'S WHAT.' Dogen riffed, for example, on this famous teaching of INMO:

    Those who want to attain the matter that is INMO
    must themselves be people who are INMO.
    But as they are already people who are INMO,
    why should they worry about attaining INMO?

    WHY indeed! Even so, there is further to know.

    That is because one had best not mumble these things as mere ideas. Nor should one feel them distantly or lightly or as a casual hint mostly forgotten.

    Rather, one had best Practice-Realize such sincerely, Sit Zazen, then get up and move in our many Zen ways in which doer-doing-&-done are not two or three ...

    ... uncovering this Knowing that pierces right though "knower" and something apart to "know" ... marrow of one's bones until there is no doubt.

    In fact, you and me and all things have been so all along.

    One merely needs realize so, then to live accordingly.

    Far from abstraction, this unity and interpenetration is the ultimate cure for all separation and friction found at the heart of human suffering. Even as we continue to live as individual beings, getting on with our day to day, the revelation of such radical interidentity and interpenetration is liberation from all conflict and division, the settling of all coming and going, a light through our experience of birth and death and the passage of time.

    As our great Soto Zen progenitor, Dongshan, exclaimed at the moment of such revelation:

    I move now, independent, myself, yet everywhere I meet this.
    This now is thoroughly me, yet I am not now this.
    One must fully realize so, thus to know suchness.

    Gassho J


    ** Apparently, this INMO design is also the symbol of the Irish Association for Emergency Medicine which, of course, we wholeheartedly support!
    Last edited by Jundo; 12-26-2022 at 01:16 AM.

  2. #2

    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'.

  3. #3
    This is so beautiful, and expressed so much more clearly than I ever could.

    Deep Bows
    My life is my temple and my practice.

  4. #4
    Thank you, Jundo.

    st lah

  5. #5
    Thank you, Jundo, for your teaching!
    怠努 (Tai Do) - Lazy Effort
    (also known as Mateus )

    禅戒一如 (Zen Kai Ichi Nyo) - Zazen and the Precepts are One!

  6. #6
    Thank You, Jundo

    Sat Lah

  7. #7
    Thank you for this teaching. I hope to realize and experience it some day.




  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by JohnS View Post
    Thank you for this teaching. I hope to realize and experience it some day.



    Maybe stop fighting it, and realize that it is always so. It is wonderful and ordinary at once. I sometimes compare this to those 3-D hidden puzzle pictures, the optical illusion where one does not see it ... until, there it is, and has been all along.

    There is supposed to be Buddha in this one if one crosses the legs, straightens the back, breathes through the nose and stares with half opened eyes ... just relax and know ...

    There's said to be one giant Buddha popping out in this one ...

    Gassho, J

    Last edited by Jundo; 12-22-2022 at 11:40 PM.

  9. #9
    What a wonderful lesson.

    Thank you for this teaching.


  10. #10
    Thank you

    Kotei sat/lah today.

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

  11. #11
    Thank you Jundo.

    Sat today and lah
    泰林 - Tai Rin - Peaceful Woods

  12. #12

    Gassho, Hōzan

  13. #13

    This hit like a ton of bricks. I have re-read several days in a row.

  14. #14
    Treeleaf Unsui Onki's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2020
    London Ontario Canada
    Thank you for this beautiful writing, Jundo



    Sat today/LAH

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post

    Those who want to attain the matter that is INMO
    must themselves be people who are INMO.
    But as they are already people who are INMO,
    why should they worry about attaining INMO?

    stlah, Kaitan
    Kaitan - 界探 - Realm searcher
    Formerly known as "Bernal"

  16. #16

    Gassho Onkai
    Sat lah
    美道 Bidou Beautiful Way
    恩海 Onkai Merciful/Kind Ocean

    I have a lot to learn; take anything I say that sounds like teaching with a grain of salt.

  17. #17

    Tokan (satlah)
    平道 島看 Heidou Tokan (Balanced Way Island Nurse)
    I enjoy learning from everyone, I simply hope to be a friend along the way

  18. #18
    Dogenís Inmo chapter in Shobogenzo always intrigues me. When I read it a few months ago, I thought of it like an old concept from my academic days. I conceived inmo as the warp and weft of that which we cannot fathom.

    With your statement of inter-identity and inter-penetrability, I have a deeper appreciation for Dogenís Inmo chapter and use of the term.

    Thank you, Jundo.


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