The True Gate of Awakening…
As the year moves toward its darkest phase; in the darkness the light of awakening was discovered by Shakyamuni, and the lamp has been passed down from his time to ours. Rohatsu sesshin, always in early December, commemorates the awakening of the whole universe, through Buddha’s awakening – and ours. To “encounter the heart” (ses-shin) is to taste the reality of awakening for ourselves. It is to taste our original nature, beyond all ideas and concepts.
Yamada Koun writes….
The “origin point of Buddhism” means Shakyamuni, especially his great enlightenment experience itself. After a long period of ascetic training Shakyamuni was confident that true enlightenment was not a product of asceticism; therefore, he nourished himself through proper meals and then sat under a tree, which later became known as the Bodhi-tree. On 8 December, upon glimpsing the twinkling morning star he suddenly came to a great and thorough enlightenment. This experience of great realization of Shakyamuni is the origin point of the Buddhist Way.