At Green Gulch, we are in a cloistered retreat which will end with sesshin. Tenshin Roshi leads it every year.This year we talk about Zazen, M.O.N.A, and consciousness.
The premises are:
Zazen is Self-Recieving and Employing Samadhi.
M.O.N.A is Chao-chou's Mind Of No Abode.
Consciousness is the dark forest which surrounds the clearing and that clearing is you.
People are tired, people are sick, again. We have about 70 people in the Zendo, sitting and chanting, coughing and crying, elbow to elbow, raising their Buddha bowls for rice. Some are salty old monks with rusted okesas and some are beginners in sweat pants. Some are priests, and some are black robe, blue rakusu home leavers. We all wake up, go to the zendo, and work with our imaginative projections from our inevitable internal perspective. 4 days on, 1 day off. 1 day off means just two periods of Zazen. Would you believe we miss the Zendo anyway?
And if the question is how, the answer has to be yes. What is this wall? yes. What is this life? yes. How do we get the pond weeds out of the pond? YES! Why do I want to be a priest? YES!
Seung Sahn said only go straight.
And how do we see a wall, not a wall, not a "not-wall," and not even abide there, not abide in any seeing at all? Of course, yes.
When the head, hot and giddy with karmic consciousness, starts to rattle, we breath deep into our haras. Consciousness is a frivolous thing, but Zazen makes us tender. "Each moment of Zazen is equally wholeness of practice, equally wholeness of realization. This is not only practice while sitting, it is like a hammer striking emptiness: before and after, its exquisite peal permeates everywhere."