Home Leaving

With palms together,
Good Morning Sangha,

Home Leaving or Shukke in the Japanese, is about many things but should mostly be understood in its pychological and emotional sense. When we leave home we are literaly leaving behind what we are comfortable with. All of our beliefs, our understandings, our connections near and dear, are left at our doorstep as we walk out into the desert. This preperatory act has been the same through millenia for those who are wishing to discover the deepest truths of existence. The Hebrews left Egypt, Moses left the Hebrews, Jesus went out in the desert for 40 days and nights, Buddha left his palace and wondered in the forests...when you think about it, every hero comtemporary or historical, spiritual or materialist, leaves what they know in order to receive that which they do not know.

There is a relatively new Zen story about this. An American comes to Japan and seeks the teaching of a Zen Master. The Master pours tea. As the cup overflows, the would be student shouts at the Master telling him that the cup is overflowing. The Master replies that the student must be empty to receive the teaching.

So home leaving is about this.

Zazen is home leaving in the present moment. Zazen asks us to sit down quietly and be in the moment, not in yesterday's moment, not in the appearance of being in the moment, not in tomorrow's moment, but this very moment as it is, purely and directly. We cannot do this if we are carrying around our assumptions, our beliefs, and our values for security, or as a blanket or light against the darkness and cold.

To be in the presence of the infinite one must drop away the known and take a cavernous step into the unknown.

Be well.


jeff said…
thank you sensei for continually driving home the things that need to be done. more appreciated than you know..

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