When All is One

With respect,

I woke this morning with these two thoughts sitting side by side. "When all is one, one ceases to exist." "You cannot kill that which was never born." We have been studying two foundational texts, my students and I, the Genjo Koan by Master Dogen, and the Diamond Sutra by the Buddha. Week after week for some years now, these and other teachings have been at my side, in my heart, and in my mind's eye. My practice guides my understanding of them and they guide my practice.

My sense is that the two thoughts I had when waking are invitations to living without fear. What I mean by that is this. Most of the time we live with a partially opened eye gazing toward the thoughts and feelings of others, especially as to how we are behaving. Are we behaving in socially acceptable ways? Moreover, when we see an injustice, we often hesitate to get involved due to a fear that to engage the injustice will somehow threaten us. To live like this is to live in a dualistic view, separating ourselves from Ourselves. As we practice we come to know that this separation is a fiction established by the function of our brain. We are not at all separate. We are We, not me, not you. Even further, when we are We, We ceases to have a reality and it is in this view, we see there is nothing to fear. We may engage an attacker without fear that our attacker's sword will cut off our head. Why? Because there is no sword, no head, no attacker and no attacked. All of these are manifestations of dualistic thinking.

When we are One we are free of the One and the Many. We cease. The Many ceases. What is left? We sip our coffee. We speak kindly. We embrace our lives and everything that arises. And when something arises that threatens life, we engage it in a way that will transform it. That which was never born cannot be killed, so what is there to fear?

As Ghandi said, "You may kill me, but all you will have is my dead body." When we let go of our attachments all things are possible because we are free to be bodhisattva warriors.

Tomorrow we will practice street Zen, bearing witness for peace, at 9:00 AM at the Farmer's Market in the downtown mall near the COAS bookstore. Please consider joining us.

Be well.


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