Shinshu Roberts

‘We are only part of the reality that we experience from our own perspective. Simultaneously, all of reality is experiencing this moment from its own perspective. These various perspectives and interpretations do not hinder the function of any one aspect.
For example, if you are attending a lecture, there is the being/time of the chair you are sitting in. There is the being/time of your shoes. There is a being/time of the other audience members. So all of these elements, which include the being/time of the bird we have just heard outside – all of these being/times make up this moment. And yet we are focused on a particular thing – our own experience. Perceptually, we’re not able to hold all that is happening, yet it is happening, and it is making up the experience we are having, even though we are focused on only one aspect of the situation.
All of these particular dharma moments (moments of being/time) of each being/time is the accumulation of all that is; all that you are. The whole of this universe makes up your complete life. As Dogen says, “I was there in time. This time has to be in me.” In this way your life includes everything. As you expand this truth – this logic – you understand that our reality includes all time and all being, at the same time that we are experiencing a particular moment in time. It is a non-dual teaching about being/time which is quite simply the relationship that we have with all being. And we have this multi-faceted, multi-dimensional, interpenetrating interaction happening right now, at this moment. This continues in this moment and this moment and this moment and this moment. So that’s what Dogen is saying. That’s reality. That’s the reality of our lives.’ (Receiving The Marrow)

Dogen’s words on being/time – uji – are notoriously hard to get your head around, and I think Shinshu makes them as clear as anything I have ever read on the subject. I am on board with knowing that ‘all things are ultimate reality’ – shoho jisso – and she manages to fold time into that mix as well. She has a book due out next year expanding the chapter she wrote in Receiving The Marrow, and I can imagine it will be dense and illuminating.

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