Eido Frances Carney

‘What do we do with our lives when we get off the cushion? This is the great difficulty. We cannot languish on the cushion forever, we cannot hide in Zazen, yet Zazen is the profound Teaching that actually shows us how to live in all aspects of life. These aspects of practice are Buddha Nature in action. We engage in rituals, we chant, we ring the bells, we make offerings, we cook, we eat, we clean the temple, we study, we sew our robes. These Buddha Nature activities go on ceaselessly. At the same time that we say these expressions are Buddha Nature in action, there can be no “inaction” to Buddha Nature because Buddha Nature is all the activity of life.
Yet we ask the question: How do we actualize? For lay practitioners this may be a more pressing question than it is for a monastic whose life is circumscribed within the whole expression of Zen. But even Dogen did not try to answer this question except to say repeatedly, “Examine it for yourself.”‘ (Receiving the Marrow)

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