‘Samu: in a Zen dojo it is said,”First is samu, second is zazen, third is reading the sutras.” Samu is physical work, but it is also zazen in action. Samu has a spiritual emphasis and is more than just physical work to the extent that through it you can give life to your Buddha Nature’ (The Path to Bodhidharma)
The order given above is illuminating, but very real – hearing the sutras gives you an idea about Buddha Nature, or Dharma, or the truth of reality; sitting zazen gives you a taste of it in your body; work allows you to manifest it in action. All the great teaching emphasise how you have to embody the practice for yourself in your own life, and if you cannot do that in ‘everyday activity’, then it does not amount to much.
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