Posted inDharma, Dogen, Other Teachings, Valerie's Messages

Message from Valerie: Practice-Awakening

March 15, 2023

Something is happening at Mountain Cloud.


Or, as Dogen put it, practice-awakening. 

On Sunday morning, springing forward in daylight savings time, we gathered in the zendo and online for shared practice. It was quiet. The silence held us and spread out. Outside, clouds settled in close, and even the birds and critters seemed hushed. Mountain-still sitting. 

What is that silence? Joshu said, “It’s alive!” Another master called it “a silence heard round the world.”

In his Genjo-koan verse, Dogen writes, “To study the way is to study the self. To study the self is to forget the self. To forget the self is to be actualized by myriad things.” 

Look deeply into ‘the self’ and we come to see that what we have taken to be a separate, fixed, and identifiable entity does not exist. It never did. To see the self, even a glimpse, is to forget it. See it for what it is – and it’s gone. Already gone. And yet, like that shared silence, very alive. 

Taste the silence, that wondrous absence, and the whole world comes rushing in – actualizing you. Actualizing what Dogen calls, “the fundamental point.” You, exactly as you are. Nothing excluded. 

Thanks to each one for this shared practice.

With gratitude and love,

Photo by Ken Cheung on Unsplash

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