Hoko Karnegis

‘Sitting in zazen, relaxing our grip on the self and letting the self relax its grip on us, realizing that we sit prior to separation into past and future, here and there, we can directly experience the warmth that arises by itself. Dogen famously wrote in his Fukanzazengi, “The zazen I speak of is not meditation practice. It is simply the dharma gate of joyful ease, the practice-realization of totally culminated enlightenment.” This dharma gate of joyful ease springs up in front of us when we experience and understand reality without our usual delusions and illusions that cause us to become fearful, tense or somber.

That being as it may, the human condition is such that when a loved one dies, the pink slip arrives or the dishwasher overflows all over the floor, we naturally feel anything but tranquil and upbeat. The dharma gate of love and cheerfulness does not ask us to suppress our grief, fear and exasperation, covering it up and denying its existence by simply putting on a happy face. When these uncomfortable feelings arise, we have to enter into them fully, understand them completely, and see through them. It may take time—a lot of time—and that work can’t be rushed. However, coming out the other side to some insight into the truth that we create our lives and our world moment by moment can help us settle into the here and now without regret.’ (from Ancient Way Journal)

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