We have a beautiful day for our equinox sesshin. This morning it was chilly. So, when I drove, I found the car windows becoming foggy. When we move in a chilly atmosphere, our windows become foggy, and we see a foggy world. Then we feel that we are separated from the world, and that we must take care of our cars with bumpers, airbags, radar, and even guns. Thus, we live in the cold world and become separated in a cold way, competing and conflicting. This is our ordinary state. With our instruments and institutions, we extend this attitude on the global scale – global warming, mass extinction, etc.
When we come here and sit still and serene, we don’t have these kinds of foggy windows. Instead we have clear windows and the clear world. In zazen there is no separation of the self and others. Our world is not shut within windows, but we see only one unified world without separation between the body, the house, and the world. Thus our worries, fears, attachments, aversions, greed, hatred, etc., fall away within one holy harmonious world of dharma or truth. There is not even a sense of my body or outside. So, we have one truth world in pure peace without fear of death or anxiety for tomorrow.
Right here and now we live in peace and prognosis. Here is the true wisdom to live in peace and harmony with all. We know that everyone has this awakened state, nature, and mind to solve our problems and sufferings, if only we cultivate in this way. It all depends upon our cultivation, stopping karma, habits, and hasty actions, and seeing how our creation of self sense and self survival instincts extends into extreme actions and atrocities. Whenever we sit down, simple and safe, we can settle in this dharma, truth, world – world in peace, harmony, health, holiness, and happiness.
We solve our birth, death, loss, and parting problems, which are really karma creations. We first create self sense and security. But now we know how to solve our problems. It is through cultivation, cutting and cultivating karmas. Even water jets and water drops can cut through metal or rock through concentration and continuity. We need to put our whole beings into cutting through like a water jet, and continue this throughout our lives, like water drops. That’s why Dogen and others said we should not part from forests, sangha, supramundane realm. Our mundane world is within the supramundane realm, not the other way around.
It is wrong to think and act to live in our mundane realm, occasionally visiting the supramundane realm. This is why we have all kinds of problems and sufferings. If we are settled in the dharma world and embrace this world within, we will not create problems and sufferings. When we aspire and act in cultivation, we can find unconditioned peace and unsurpassed awakening, living on joy, tasting amrita, the ambrosia of immortality. Thus only can we live without our individual, social, global problems and sufferings. If we practice, we can continuously enjoy this dharma world, limitless life, light, liberation, and love, with limitless learning, embracing all in compassion and wisdom.
This is the true treasure that will never leave us or be destroyed. So we take refuge in the awakened one, the awakened dharma (truth), and the awakened community (sangha). We settle in them and truly enjoy the beautiful, bountiful world. So, let us continue our practice, our cultivation, cutting and changing karma from worse to better, especially in our intensive practice of sesshin.