Tatsugami Roshi

‘Dogen Zenji says that the practice of zazen is identical with enlightenment.  Let me give you an example. If you clean your room, you think that your room is beautiful and neat looking.  It is natural that you should think so.  According to Dogen, however, who maintains that practice is identical with enlightenment, the very act of cleaning is identical with cleanliness, purity, and beauty.
Another example is hitting the drum.  The moment that you hit the drum, a sound appears: “Boom!”  Hitting the drum and creating the sound are identical.  Let us apply this to zazen.  Imagine that in sitting meditation some sound appears:  “Boom!”, which is enlightenment itself.  But, as with the drum, or bell, sitting and the sound of enlightenment are completely one.  The same principle is exemplified by switching on the electricity:  the electricity does not think, nor is it excessively proud of its great powers.  It never thinks whether it works slowly or quickly.  As soon as you turn on the switch, the electricity works immediately.  The same holds true when you hit the bell.  The bell doesn’t think:  “Wait a minute”, or, “Oh, yes, you hit me.  OK Just a moment.  Let me have a little time, please.  Yes, right now, yes.  Let’s start.  Gong!”  The bell never thinks so.  The moment that you hit the bell, it works immediately.  This is what Dogen means when he says that practice is identical with enlightenment itself. This is the proper way of zazen.’

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