Shohaku Okumura

‘Reality itself is a question for us. There is no way to reduce the reality of our life to any logical system and completely understand it, because our life is so complex. Reality is always asking us, “What is this life? Who are we? What am I doing?” Somehow we have to answer with our practice. Practice doesn’t necessarily mean sitting or studying the Buddha’s teaching. Practice can mean the activities of our day-to-day lives. Even when we try to avoid answering reality’s questions, that avoidance itself is an answer. If we try to deny reality, that’s also an answer. So we can’t avoid it. Each one of us has to engage this reality, including our self, body, mind, and situation. Our self and our situation work together. We have to accept this total reality as our self. Self is not a separate part of reality. Our life is the sum of all the things happening inside and outside of us.’ (Living by Vow)

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