As we leave July and enter August, historically the hottest and driest period of the year in Washington, the zendo has warmed up and as we sit it becomes all too easy to dwell on the body. But these last couple couple of weeks when the body demands unwavering attention I am reminded of the reading from the Linji Lu (Rinzai Roku) from our July Day of practice:
“Buddhas and patriarchs are people who refrain from contrivances (buji). Therefore, whether they act with or without delusion, or whether they refrain from action with or without delusion, their karma is pure. There are a bunch of blind monks who stuff their stomachs with food and sit down in zazen. They try to stop the flow of their thoughts and to prevent delusions from arising. They hate noise and seek tranquillity. This is the way of heretics.”
As we look ahead to the August Day of Practice and further ahead to the September Training Period, it is with this determination that we must bring to every sit, to every action. It isn’t something that we can cultivate in only pristine circumstances, it isn’t something we can cultivate at all. Wherever we are, whatever task we are engaged in, we must bring ourselves completely to it. Linji goes on to say:
“This very you who right now is listening to my talk, how can you cultivate it, how can you acknowledge it, how can you adorn it? It is not to be cultivated, not to be acknowledged, not to be adorned. If it can be adorned, then everything can be adorned. Make no mistake!”
(quotes from the Rinzai Roku translated by Eido Shimano Roshi)
August 3 is the deadline for September training applications – the list will be sent out a few days later by Rozan https://www.tahomazenmonastery.org/sesshin/sesshin-application/
Saturday August 18th is a full day of training at Tahoma. Schedule is here: https://www.tahomazenmonastery.org/2018/07/14/july-day-of-practice-schedule/
Tendo Zenji and Bruce continue to take care of Tahoma with help from Kogen and Esho.