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, November 14, 2010

Learning TO Bend Into Life

I have been re-reading Opening the Hand of Thought , the Foundations of Zen Buddhist Practice

Quoted in this book is Uchiyama Roshi's final poem, completed on the last day of his life:


Putting my right and left hands together as one, I just bow.

 Just bow to become one with Buddha and God. 

Just bow to become one with everything I encounter.

 Just bow to become one with all the myriad things. 

Just bow as life becomes life.

This speaks to me so profoundly! 
This is body/mind practice. This is being intimate with what is before you. This is actualizing the fundamental point with body/mind.
What would my day be like today if I put my right and left hands together, and just bowed to this one wonderful life I have?

Nine Bows to Uchiyama Roshi!!!!!


1 comment:

Daigu said...

I often forget to bow in practice, which, I guess, says a lot about me. I have come to understand that bowing is an integral part of zen practice, and still I'm forgetful.
In "Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind", Shunryu Suzuki Roshi tells us that his "teacher had a callus on his forehead from bowing. He knew he was an obstinate, stubborn fellow, and so he bowed and bowed and bowed".
He explains the importance of bowing, in zazen, with these words: "By bowing we are giving up ourselves. To give up ourselves means to give up our dualistic ideas. So there is no difference between zazen practice and bowing".
This is an important reminder to me. So are Uchiyama Roshi's words. Thanks for bringing them to my attention. God knows I need to hear it.