Posted inHenry's Messages

Message from Henry: The Very Reality

November 20, 2014

The very Mahayana, the very reality, is just this waking up, drinking a cup of tea, driving the kids to school, going to work …

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“Gloria dei homo vivens” … the glory of God is the living human being.

Please forgive a bit of a garbled ramble… Basically, this being human, this is the full fact of the Mahayana. The great vehicle is busy being each of us. So, as it is you, me, she, he, each one of us, it is entirely, thoroughly here. So all is well, and easy and full and totally empty and complete all at once. “Gloria dei homo vivens” a friend quoted recently – the glory of God is the living human being.

The very Mahayana, the very reality, is just this waking up, drinking a cup of tea, driving the kids to school, going to work (to paraphrase Ruben Habito Roshi). But the point is – this is not an idea. Don’t think there is an insight or an understanding to get a hold of here.

Remember great master Hyakujo who said, “I am not a man of wisdom.” Its truth, its reality, comes alive only when we experience it as an actual living fact – now, here. That’s why Zen insists on “showing” and “presenting” and “becoming” a koan. Its concern is with our living experience, not with ideas. Ideas of Zen are “dead Zen,” or “skeletons in a field,” as Kyosei said. The thrust of this training is coming to full life.

Surely we all recognize that on some level whatever being alive is, it’s an incomparable fact like nothing else. Yet we suffer so much. And as a species we cause so much suffering. Why can’t we unwrap the gift of life and receive it, make the most of it, and appreciate it, and really taste it, and share it?

We can, says Zen. That’s why we practice.

Image: Tea Plantation, by KaterJule CC0 Public Domain, from pixabay.com

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