If you wish to attain suchness, practice suchness immediately.
~ Eihei Dogen, Fukanzazengi
Another translation of this famous line from Dogen reads, “If you want to realize suchness, practice suchness without delay.” Suchness is what we are, just as we are. Without delay means now, this very moment.
Whatever we may seek in cultivating a daily practice of zazen, it is nowhere but here. Whatever draws us to the exploration of silent sitting, the only time it can unfold is now. The present moment is all there is. It is the locus of our experience and it is our experience.
This may sound like a tautology, an obvious redundancy. Present moment experience can only happen in the present moment. Yet how oddly foreign this immediacy is to how we navigate much of our lives, how we locate our “selves” within the universe of things, the boundless web of relationships.
We suffer the separation. But that suffering can put our feet on a path of practicing present moment awareness and, with practice, realizing the indivisible reality that Dogen points to as our own true home.
Photo by Aleksandar Kyng on Unsplash