Monk In The World

To be a monk is to have time to practice for your transformation and healing. And after that to help with the transformation and healing of other people.

Thich Nhat Hanh

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Living Fully, Dying Well - Bastian and Staley

I'm reading the above mentioned title right now. Some wonderful thoughts in it so far. My own daily work in oncology invites me to sit beside the big pink elephant in the room. I would have to say after twenty-one years of doing this, death is a familiar friend. Yes, I said friend. Death and dying have taught me so much about living. I'm sure that is an over used statement but it is so true. I know my daily life outside of my work is different because of it.

I wonder if we could create a draft board agency that required a two year hitch in working with the dying instead of working with weapons? Maybe the world would be a better place.

Be Intimate with life today


Sunday, June 14, 2009

Just this, that's all!

Here is my post to Dosho Port via email, ending our 100 days of study with Dogen's Genjokoan.

First paragraph belongs to Dosho...then my response.

HI all,We're coming to the end of the 100 days - officially 6/11 but because sesshin starts on 6/12, we won't have a class here on 6/11. During the last session on 6/4, we'll work on summarizing the Genjokoan passage that we've worked with this 100 days:

Conveying oneself toward all things to carry out practice/enlightenment is delusion. All things coming and carrying out pratice/en-lightenment through the self is realization. Those who greatly realize delusion are buddhas. Those who are greatly deluded in realization are living beings. Furthermore, there are those who attain realization beyond realization and those who are deluded within delusion. When buddhas are truly buddhas, they don't need to perceive that they are themselves buddhas. However, they are enlightened buddhas, and they continue actualizing buddha.In seeing forms with the whole body-mind, hearing sound with the whole body-mind, though one intimately understands, it isn’t like reflecting images in a mirror, it’s not like water and the moon—when you witness one side, one side is obscure. Studying the Buddha Way is studying oneself. Studying oneself is forgetting oneself. Forgetting oneself is being enlightened by all things. Being enlightened by all things is causing the body-mind of oneself and the body-mind of others to be shed. There is ceasing the traces of enlightenment, which causes one to forever leave the traces of enlightenment which is cessation.

What are the main points?
What do they say concretely about your life?
What specific focus do you have now that you are ending the 100 days?

My response:

OK, I am finally going to try and share some thoughts (realizations?) about these 100 days, addressing your questions as best I can at this point.

What are the main points?

I'm gonna say it this way. It seems to me that in some way we are all naturally given this desire for intimacy. Through conditioning we get all broken apart about how it is that this can happen, what it is, and what it is not. Once we realize that it can be had right where we are and with just whatever it is that we are doing...all things become one. "each and every place is complete truth zen sand 4.288 I hope I am not tripping over this word "intimacy" but it has always seemed to play a major role in my spiritual journey. My very vocation is about intimacy. I have a hunch that all these words we have studied over these 100 days lead to this experience of intimacy.

What do they say concretely about your life?

Do what you are doing with reverence, great care, mindfulness, PAY ATTENTION, Stupid!

What particular focus do you have now that your are ending these 100days?

To make the right effort to do each and every little thing with care, dropping body and mind. Don't get me wrong, I know this is a life time work and my focus will also be to make my life my spiritual practice.


Deep Bows,