I heard the above quote during a radio interview Karen Miller did recently. It speaks volumes to a lay practitioner who does not have a sangha and continues to make the effort to practice faithfully.
I mentioned in an earlier post that I was reading Merton's Palace of Nowhere again for Advent. James Finley states in this book that "authentic religious expression" is the "highest expression of human awareness and desire." He states:
This becomes clear in reference to Merton. His writings are sometimes philosophical or theological, sometimes poetic or anthropological, but they are always religious. Indeed, his whole life was fundamentally religious. That is to say, all his actions, talents and ambitions were finally focused solely upon the goal of achieving transforming union with God.
As he expressed it:
Whatever I may have written, I think it can all be reduced in the end to this one root truth: That God calls human persons to union with Himself with one another in Christ.
Whatever you may believe about God or about who Jesus was in this wonderful story, it still seems to me that the above thoughts also point to this INTIMACY.
Maybe "authentic religious expression" is the same as living life with deep awareness, seeking to be intimate with each and every moment.
Zazen is such a path. Being mindful is an expression of being in union. Why do we have to name it? Why not just experience it? As soon as we name it we have limited it!
Enjoy your "Everyday life" today!