…in the act of giving, one who gives and one who receives form a connection with each other… ~ Dogen
This week, a message from Sandy Chubb, Zen Teacher at Oxford Zen Centre, UK.
Dogen said that when we study ourselves thoroughly, we understand others thoroughly as well; as a result, we cast off the self and the other. He said:
The self gives the self for the sake of giving the self; the other gives the other for the sake of giving the other. (Giving is purposeless and noninstrumental). The karmic force of such giving prevails as far as the heavenly world and the human world, and reaches out as far as the wise ones and sages who attained the fruits of enlightenment.
The reason is that in the act of giving, one who gives and one who receives form a connection with each other…
When you practice Zen every day, little changes occur so that when you look back to the time you first began practice, you see that you are becoming happier.
Gradually you are able to see how “not knowing” brings great peace of mind. When our opinions multiply they disturb us and others too. When the need to be “right” lessens, our suffering lessens and the many aspects of truth become clearer – along with so much more that is fresh and full of awe.
Practising Zen washes away little habitual imprisonments which keep us centre stage and separate. As you feel easier, in tune with what comes next, a deep appreciation for the universe arises and with it comes a profound gratitude.
Perhaps we don’t talk enough about this supreme aspect of practice where continual sitting and forgetting the self starts to have an effect. Despite the ups and downs of the day, it fills us with joy.
We gassho and make a full bow expressing gratitude during Zazenkais together but there are other ways to express a full heart very simply, without fuss or need to let anyone know… please be on the lookout for them.