When we find the Dharma, we don’t need anything else. Wealth, status, good name, comfort — they lose whatever hold they may have had. In effect, they vanish. Once we really find the Dharma, we don’t even need life any more. We don’t even need the Dharma any more, because at last it’s clear what it has been all along.
As the practitioner Jeff Shore says in his article “Rinzai Zen in the modern world”: “Zen only comes to life when one is dependent on nothing, within or without.”
In Sanbo Zen, our deepest intention is to be dedicated to the most thorough practice and liberation, and to pass it on to anyone interested. We therefore don’t dress up ceremonially or address ourselves with honorific titles – these would be counter to a Dharma that can’t be found without clarifying no-self and true emptiness.
Instead, through devotion to the three treasures — buddha, dharma and sangha, which we can understand as practice, teaching and community — as our greed, aversion and delusion naturally dwindle, so do humility, gratitude and compassion spontaneously come forward.
On that basis, I’d like to take a moment to say how grateful I personally feel for all the help and support that so many of our community members give in order to allow our center to flourish. I feel humble toward the great generosity shown by so many of you, in a true spirit of love and caring that this practice opens up in us. May we all grow in love and compassion toward our fellow creatures on this earth, human and non-human, so many of whom toil and struggle to survive and thrive, often against very difficult circumstances.
May love and kindness be the guiding lights we kindle at this dark time of the year. May the year’s turning light up a new glow of warmth in our hearts, toward whoever needs our love in the coming days and months. And may the flame of love that never ceases burning in our hearts be clearly felt by us all.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
With love from,
a humble but grateful Henry