Message from Henry: Value

On the great road of Buddha ancestors there is always unsurpassable practice, continued and sustained.  ~Dogen

We naturally like demonstrable value. In the case of meditation, what tangible benefits does it bring? It doesn’t matter if you happen to feel drawn to it – what will it actually do for you?

Typically, apologists for meditation point to two values – it can help us to suffer less; and make us a kinder, better person to be around. Wisdom and compassion, in the traditional formulation: these justify meditation practice.

It accomplishes both through healing the rift of separation, by restoring us and all beings to wholeness.

That’s all well and good. But Master Dogen says:

The great way is not carried over from before, nor is it merely arising now.

In other words, it predates and post-dates demonstrable utility.

On the great road of Buddha ancestors there is always unsurpassable practice, continued and sustained.

In other words, although we sustain it and it sustains us, it is beyond all value.

The power of this continuous practice confirms you as well as others. It means your practice affects the entire in the entire sky in the ten directions. Although not noticed by others or by yourself, it is so.

In other words, it is not at all concerned with any benefits we or others may perceive.

 


Message from Henry is from our January 22, 2018 Newsletter
Image: Owl by Lepale, CC0 Public Domain, from Pixabay. com
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