‘Humans are filled with attachment for fame, title, reputation, and one’s ego. You must learn how to overcome such desire. Simply be one with your breath. Then, that gives no room or space for your desire to grow anymore.
Zazen means to be straight in posture. To be straight means to keep your back straight neither leaning to the right or the left. To be straight means to be honest and truthful. Body and mind are one. Thus, if you straighten your body, your mind is straight.
People sometimes think of freedom as being self-centered. But at Eiheiji, fitting yourself into a certain form must be the way of life.
Dogen’s zazen means all aspects of life are Zen. Zen is not something particularly special, as many think. Zen means to be one with what is. If you walk, walking is Zen. If you speak, speaking is Zen. Likewise, taking off your slippers is also zazen. Placing slippers together is only a natural thing to do.
It’s not practice. We are only doing what we are supposed to do. It’s ordinary because there is not anything else to do.
Slippers placed in disarray shows your mind is in disarray. Because your mind is in disarray, you cannot place them evenly. Whether your mind is even or uneven is reflected in everything.’ (from Ancient Way Journal)
If you have noticed that several recent posts have been from unusual sources, rather than from the books I have been reading, that simply reflects the weeks of traveling in England without books at hand, and a slow return to the habit of reading on my commute.
Nonetheless, the sentiments are familiar – not least the remark about shoes.