"All the world's a stage we pass through." - R. Ayana

Sunday, 27 July 2008

Welcome to the Far Shore

Welcome to the Far Shore
 Habit or Inhabit

Hermes Rising by new_illuminati1.

The Heart Sutra is chanted as part of Zen practice. It conveys the experience of the meditational insight, the Heart of Zen life. It concludes with the following mantra:



This means, “Gone, gone, gone to the Other Shore, landed at the Other Shore”.

This is the Other Shore. This is the moment of our final destination, the ultimate goal of all creation, the conclusion of all history and all life. In your kitchen, at your work, wherever you are, you have arrived at your final goal. Intellectually you may think of some future, but in truth this moment is the only reality. You are the true life and have nothing more to seek.

I think that just being here and doing nothing is the most important, the wisest, the greatest work in this world for a human being.

It seems to be of little importance whether we live longer or healthier lives, since this is a transient abode. The only question we are given is how we experience this limitless, real life.

The realisation of life is nothing more than the realisation of death. Doing something with all your heart and forgetting yourself in it is the ultimate truth.

The truth of life is not a goal to be attained in some particular time or place in the future, but the reality of the step you take at this very moment.

Zazen, running, conversation, reading, considering (and taking responsibility for) the problems of the world, having dinner or taking a bath… whatever you are doing now – that is the daily reality for you: do not try to escape it.

Each thing we are doing or facing now is our true reality, our true encounter. This is exactly the point. Whatever you are doing now, just do it. Don’t avoid it. If you escape from this, you are always escaping towards some future, from the cradle to the grave.

I maintain that your present imperfect state is much much better and much more full of grace than the perfect state you intend to achieve in the future. Our lives, as we are practising now, are better than anything we will gain in the future. Therefore, you should switch the centre of your being and your whole attention from your dreams of the future, and instead have your awareness on Here Now…

The life of true emptiness takes the form of whatever is here now.

“How am I doing it?” Examine this only.

We cannot and do not need to cut ourselves off from material possessions and physical pleasure. When we are naturally facing just this one encounter, this is quite enough. We don’t need to cut out anything: it happens by itself.

The fixed state is one where there is no new death, no new birth, in other words, just ‘habit’. As long as one is alive, one should be continually dying and being born in every encounter, so that the enlightened life flows forever. Every sitting is the realisation of a new world which one is seeing for the very first time.

They say that once you are contented with what you are, you will have no growth, no progress. This, I think, is a superficial understanding. Real growth, true progress, begins when you get at the truth of what you are, when you can say, “it is absolutely all right,” even though it may be very poor and miserable.

So please observe your unsatisfactory situation more and more, and take better care of it as it is. Then you may see the door open to the next world…

-         Hogen-San

From The Other Shore by Master Hogen Daido Hamahata

Published by One Way Australia
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