Katagiri Roshi

‘Try to realize that you have already set yourself out in the vastness of the Buddha’s world because you exist as a human being, So all you can do now is make every possible effort to live in Buddha’s world with a way-seeking mind. Usually we don’t want to do this. If we step outside the familiar patterns of our lives we are scared. But we have to do it sometimes, so we should do it positively. This is very important for us. If we do it positively, we realize how great our capability is. That doesn’t mean to become strong by expressing our ego. Expressing the ego seems to make us strong, but it is the complete opposite. In Zen monasteries the ego is always being hit on the head, like pouring water over a burning fire. Immediately pffft! Nothing is left. It’s pretty hard, but this is the way to become strong.’ (Each Moment is the Universe)

I had this paragraph written out in my notes, and wondered if I had already posted it, but a search for ‘pffft!’ brought up nothing. I seem to recall using it in a dharma talk, and reading it again now, it seems to point to the same process that Pema Chödrön is talking about.

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