Chop wood, carry water

According to Buddha’s words, once one has fully entered the world, there is no breach or need to leave the world. These words contain the principle of attaining Buddhahood by means of the world dharma.

In the Kegon Sutra it is said: “the Buddha Dharma is not different from the world dharma, and the world dharma is not different from the Buddha Dharma.” Anyone who does not put to use this principle of attaining Buddhahood in the world dharma itself knows nothing of the real intentions of the Buddha.

Any and every occupation is Buddhist practice. It is on the basis of our actual work that enlightenment is to be attained. Therefore, no work can be anything other than Buddhist practice.

– Shosan (1579-1655)   (quoted by Daily Zen)

That your present experience is made of ecstasy which morphs quite naturally into extinction generally evades you.

The revelation occurs when the cacophony of consciousness ushers the flame of attention beyond its common conclusion, that of being a creature bound by mind. An unutterable distancing or constructive depersonalization occurs slowly and suddenly that erases the imaginary boundary of personal continuity and releases the flame of attention from shortsightedness.

What remains is obliterative novelty; clinging fails, the sense of self yields to wonder, the world and all experiencing reveals in absolute transparency. Your problems remain, why shouldn’t they, it’s the owner who has left town.

Night Sky Sangha, edited and abridged by JJM


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