Beginning of the Thanksgiving weekend. A time to sit with generosity for all we have received from the earth. And all we must continue to give back.
One teacher used to say, “Everything I teach you is meant to to be given away. Open your hand.” He wasn’t this serene person – in fact he was quite harsh. But this teaching has out-lasted everything else he gave me.
It’s just my belief: to be a teacher is to give it all away, unstintingly, like the earth.
Daido Loori roshi quotes Walt Whitman in Teachings of the Insentient: zen and the environment.
The earth does not withhold, it is generous enough,
The truths of the earth continually wait, they are not so conceal’d either,
They are calm, subtle, untransmissible by print,
They are imbued through all things conveying themselves willingly…
The earth does not argue,
Is not pathetic, has no arrangements,
Does not scream, haste, persuade, threaten, promise,
Makes no discriminations, has no conceivable failures,
Closes nothing, refuses nothing, shuts none out,
Of all the powers, objects, states, it notifies, shuts none out.
Daido roshi goes on to say:
The whole point of Zen training in a natural environment is to make us open and receptive to the insentient, to nature itself as the teacher. Being born as the earth is about intimacy. It is about wholeness and completeness. We tend to fragment ourselves. We tend to be our own worst enemies, all of us…. it’s got to do with …our conditioning…. That’s why the process of zazen is so necessary…. Layer by layer, we peel (the learned behavior) back. examining it understanding it, clearly, throwing it away, and going deeper… until finally we reach the ground of being, and that too needs to be seen, and then thrown away…. Zen practice is an endless process.
Thank you for practicing,