Shohaku Okumura

‘Each being is unique and yet is interconnected with all beings, from the beginningless beginning to the endless end. When we take one being, we take all beings and all times. Nothing is substantial. Everything is empty. When we try to grasp with our intellect, using concepts, we become neurotic. When we grasp one aspect, we miss another. When we try to understand the difference between beings we differentiate and miss the connections between them. When we focus on the relationships between all beings, we miss the uniqueness of this being. These two basically contradictory aspects of the true reality are expressed in the Heart Sutra as “form is emptiness and emptiness is form.” In the Sandokai same same reality is expressed as merging of difference (ji) and unity (ri).’ (Living By Vow)

Shohaku was making the same point in this year’s Genzo-e; on one level at least, there is nothing else we can talk about, though, as I get to be reminded, it’s good to be able to use this clarity to help us in our lives.

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