Reb Anderson

‘People often think that they are doing… sitting meditation. They think, I’m sitting upright doing meditation. Right? In a sense, that is meditation on the imputational character of phenomena. The phenomenon of you sitting, the imputational character of it, is that it’s an independent thing, and you, an independent person, make that independent thing happen. It’s nonsense, but that’s the imputational character. “I make myself sit. I do meditation.” So one way to meditate on the other-dependent character is to see if you can open to how your sitting – the sitting meditation that is happening – is being given to you. Receive the sitting. See the sitting that’s happening right now as a gift to the body, and see the body itself as a gift. You could say that you are being given this moment. You are being given a body, and this body that is appearing to you is being produced by everything else in the universe other then the body. It’s an impermanent body. It’s a body that can’t keep itself the same for even a moment, because it’s not under its own control. It’s other-powered. It lacks own-being in terms of producing itself. It’s a gift to you. If the body is in upright posture, that upright posture is a gift to the body, a gift to you.’ (The Third Turning of the Wheel)

This is quite dense, and it goes right to the heart of what the Samdinirmocana Sutra discusses. Whatever power we impute to ourselves (and other things as supposedly individual objects) is refuted by the understanding that everything is other-dependent – for all that certain high-flyers these days want to secure immortality for themselves. This is the same as what Dogen says in the Genjo Koan: ‘To carry yourself forward and experience myriad things is delusion. That myriad things come forth and experience themselves is awakening.’

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