clyde wrote: ↑Fri Jul 10, 2020 7:22 pm
Elsewhere, Meido posted this:
Meido wrote: ↑Mon May 25, 2020 4:13 pm
In the modern era there is an increasingly common conceit (not just in Zen) that "practice in daily life" means that one can adjust practice to fit one's life, instead of adjusting one's life to fit practice. There is also a common conceit that one need not practice a lot.
What does “practice in daily life” mean?
I don’t know what Meido meant by “adjusting one’s life to fit practice.” I don’t think of it as an “adjusting”, but as, and as best I can, applying the Dharma to the moment. This (“applying the Dharma”) was ‘taught’ to me by a dear departed Dharma friend and bodhisattva, who brought the Dharma to bear in all situations.
Thank you for your post.
For me, "practice in daily life", is not and cannot be any different than any other kind of "practice." In other words, "practice" (or practice-enlightenment) is either authentic practice or it is not. In genuine Zen practice-enlightenment there is no distinction between "daily life" and anything else.
With this in mind, here is my understanding of what authentic Zen practice-enlightenment is.
Authentic Zen practice-enlightenment ultimately amounts to authentic human culture. Here ‘culture’ is meant in its fullest sense; civilization, humankind, refinement, wisdom, creativity, ethos, mythos, growth, ingenuity, enhancement, fulfillment, sacrament, enjoyment, ornament, art, etc. For authentic culture is the form and essence of Zen practice-enlightenment, the very reason (Jp. dori
) of Zen. Zen ‘practice’ is the way or activity of culture, Zen ‘enlightenment’ is the expression or realm of culture. This practice-enlightenment is an ever-enhancing universal process of liberation and fulfillment. The place-and-time of this way and realm is the here-and-now of the individual sentient being; its richest fields for cultivation are the expressions of awakened hearts and minds that ring out through space and time in the ceaseless actualization of the universe into novelty.
Authentic Zen can be accurately discerned by its intrinsic quality of establishing, engaging, and refining the normal human capacity of ‘nonthinking’ – authentic practice-enlightenment. Nonthinking (thinking not-thinking) is the human capacity of seeing true nature (kensho
) or seeing Buddha (kenbutsu
To see true nature is to see dharmas as they are
, rather than through the ‘dark glass’ of systematic theories, generalizations, literal definitions, or fixed formulas. The true nature of the self and the world simply cannot be discerned from a perspective grounded on speculative assumptions, fixed doctrines, codes, schools, or established institutions. Of the various species identified as ‘Zen,’ all that conform to orthodox views, literal definitions, unverifiable claims, exclusive memberships, or objective standards of any kind are not authentic Zen or authentic culture. They are, therefore, of no relevance to the Zen practitioner except where their influence might obscure the vision of authentic Zen, thus call for refutation and rectification.