‘To use skillful means – beneficial action – means to see and consider before we act. What has made this situation what it is? What are its origins? How can this tangle of causes and conditions be unraveled? If we look closely, we may see things we don’t want to see. We have to take into account that the most beneficial action might include aspects we don’t want to include. We might need to associate with people we’d rather avoid or do things that are difficult and dreary.
This entails letting go of what we want or what we think is useful and allow reality to tell us what to do rather than imposing our ideas on it. In his remarks on giving, Dōgen speaks of offering ourselves to ourselves and offering others to others. We help by helping others become and be who they are. We offer what they see as helpful and can be used to make their lives what they want them to be.’ (from Ancient Way Journal)
I confess that there are not many blogs that I follow closely, but this is one that I found to have rewarding articles in regularly. Zuiko Redding is talking about Dogen’s The Four Elements of a Bodhisattva’s Social Relations (in the translation she uses) which I have been pondering myself this year. It gives me an excuse to plug the talk I gave on the subject back in January in San Rafael, and to mention that I have uploaded the talk I gave on Monday at the same location, the second of four about the Bodhisattva vows.