Although we all practice social distancing and are all very far apart and in our separate rooms, we are all together here in a very real sense at the same time. Suzuki Roshi said: “When I sit, you sit; Everything is with me When you sit, everything is with you. And everything makes up the quality of your being. “Dogen Zenji said we don’t just sit with everyone but the whole world sits with us. He said: “Grasses and trees, fences and walls demonstrate the Dharma for the sake of living beings … Because earth, grasses and trees, fences and walls, tiles and pebbles … Buddha work is helping everyone … to achieve enlightenment hand.”
At the moment my voice is with you, although I am very far away. At the moment, even though you are safe in your home, the world’s turbulence that has been turned upside down is right here with you. Right now your fear for your health or the health of your loved ones is right here with you. At the moment, the love of your parents, the teaching of your teachers, the hugs of your friends – all the support that you have received in the past and that has enabled you to thrive is right here with you. At the moment, the blooming of crocuses, hyacinths and daffodils is right here with you. Right now the effects of your months, years and decades of practice are right here with you. Right now, the Dharma Wheel, which the Buddha set in motion 2,500 years ago, and the teachings of our Zen Patriarchs and Matriarchs are right here with you. At the moment, the air you breathe is the gift of trees and flowers, algae and bacteria. At the moment, the food you digest is the gift of plants, animals, farmers, truckers and grocers. At the moment I speak to you in the languages of the Winkel, Saxons and Celts, from Shakespeare and the King James Bible, from Miriam Webster, Yogi Berra and Suzuki Roshi. At the moment, atoms that have been forged in the furnaces of distant stars are being built into your living cells. All these people, plants, animals and even distant stars are right here with you.
Consider how all of these influences are currently unfolding – how your past is accelerating to meet your future. At the moment you are blooming together with the daffodils and crocuses. What is the quality of your bloom, your being, your becoming, your constantly changing and somehow also a version of yourself at the moment? “
His – my being, your being – is never something static. It is never one Thing. It is always an appearance, a preservation, a dwelling, a promotion and blossoming, a fading and a transformation. It is a flowing, constantly changing, never ending stream. Can you feel what these words mean to you right now?
When we sit, we stay in this stream, let it be as it is, and accept our life as it is given to us. We slide out of the web of thought-created abstractions and dip our toes into the living stream. If we are lucky, not only will our toes dip into this stream – or even better – we will become this stream. Of course we have always been this stream. How strange that sounds – to become what we already are.
Sitting, we free our lives from frozen abstractions and turn ice into flowing water.
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