Don't imagine, but live !

Kusen of Roland Yuno Rech - Nice, September 2015

During zazen, continue to concentrate well on the posture of your body, especially the verticality of your back, chin tucked in, neck and spine well stretched and shoulders relaxed. Inhale and exhale calmly through your nose, relax your belly well, let the weight of your body press on the zafu, and also on your knees.

2377 vivreWhen we concentrate in this way on the body posture and when we are attentive to the breathing, we can easily let pass all the phenomena that arise in our mind.

In general, we try to grasp what we like and to reject or avoid what we don't like. So, our life is often like a permanent struggle to get one thing and avoid another. Thus, we are rarely truly at peace.

But in zazen, the posture of our body, immobile as a mountain, doesn't let itself be shaken by anything and this influences the mind, which - in turn - stops letting itself be carried away by emotions, worries or concerns. As one neither pursues anything nor rejects anything, the mental agitation calms down, the mind calms down, and one finds great inner peace and freedom of the mind. Because, in zazen, the mind is no longer conditioned to grasp what it likes and reject what it does not like.

Our mind at that moment can contemplate each thing, each situation, each being, and see it in a much more objective way, letting our vision be stripped of our preferences and aversions. And even if these preferences or aversions manifest themselves in the mind in zazen, we observe them as we would observe another phenomenon … so, the mind in zazen is always much larger than what goes through it, than what occupies or worries it. This vast mind has the power to liberate us from our attachments and our habits and the power to allow us to adopt a new vision of our life.

Master Deshimaru often told us “to practice zazen as if we were going to go into our coffin”. At that moment, what is still important? Certainly, a lot of our current preoccupations would disappear. Then why wait for the last moments of our existence to find the peace of mind?

It is better to practice zazen every morning when we wake up and thus start the day with a vast vision on our life, observing our whole life from a Buddha's point of view, that is to say from an awakened mind. Then this practice becomes a real inner revolution, which has the power to calm us down by letting us glimpse another way of functioning, and above all by allowing us to experience it, not just imagine it, but live it.

So, what is possible in zazen can also be lived in daily life, if we take care to refocus on our gestures, our body, our breathing, if we are attentive to the “here and now”. This supposes that we let drop all thoughts, that we don't let ourselves be carried along by them: in other words, that we reach a true mastery of our mind.

Transcript of the recording available as podcast on the Gyobutsuji Zen Temple website:


Tags: Roland Yuno Rech

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