Yesterday, Zenho shared a profound teaching, informed by a powerful realization on attachment.
Following is Zenho’s writing:
As some of you are aware, we (issan and Zenho) have been playing with changing The Four Boddhisattva Vows: “Sentient beings are numberless…” The one that we have ;had great difficulty with is the second vow. It was presented to us, handed down from ZCLA, as “Desires are inexhaustible, I vow to put an end to them.” We have offered such variations as “Desires are inexhaustible, I vow to explore them,” and most recently “Desires are inexhaustible, I vow to be free from attachment.”
Attachment. ATTACHMENTS. Does this carry a negative, dirty flavor for you. I not only have this desire, which is somehow impure. Now I have this attachment to the desire. A double dose of dirty. Bless me Father for I have sinned. “Mea culpa, Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.” No matter how many culpa kalpas, it still seems to be there. What is wrong with me? For surely, I am somehow at fault here.
I had the following experience today:
I was engaged in signing and stamping some lineage charts. “The Seal of the True Dharma Eye.” Candles and incense. Roshi beside me, as always. I was carrying the photo image that Diana had shared with me of one of Roshi’s hand-written cards: “Don’t Look for it. It finds You”
I had completed two charts and stopped to join my friend Fabrice. Fabrice is in Cabo, so we meet on Zoom. We chatted amiably, and then entered Zazen for 30 minutes.
Early in Zazen, clear emptiness pervasive. A thought arose. The thought was of a girlfriend I had when I was 20. I have always regretted how our relationship ended. There is usually a long story attached to this memory.
The thought arose. And to my amazement…no story. No attachment to the thought. Just the next moment. Clear and bright and FULL of energy. Wide awakeness. Just clear bright awake energy.
There is also awareness of several other dimensions. This ATTACHMENT is not something that I have/had created. It is a Being, not much different from the Time-Being experienced by Dogen. ATACHMENT-BEING. The attachment-being was gone. I had not created it. And I had not caused its disappearance. And it is definitely gone.
ATTACHMENT-BEING, as small as mote of dust or as large as a Buddha-Field Universe.
ATTACHMENT-BEING as Anger-Beings. As Greed-Beings. As Ignorance-Beings.
ATTACHMENT-BEING as an energy vampire, carrying us and our energy down memory rabbit holes, draining our energy for the moment along with it. Into old stories. The Akashic records require so much energy to maintain as memory.
Freed of the ATTACHMENT-BEING, each moment vividly energetic, energy filled to the brim. Vibrancy meeting each moment directly. No possibility of dozing off.
We have several teaching methods that we emphasize.
Within zazen, we encourage “Go to sleep.” This is not an encouragement to doze off. It is a reminder in the moment to drop all effort and rest in naturalness. It is funny – everyone seems to know just what we mean without explanation. Just go to sleep. And It finds You.
Dream-Koan practice reveals, from deep within the non-conceptual unconscious, the warp and woof of our Attachment-Beings. Attachment-Beings draining our energy, creating deluded perception, creating Anger-Beings and Greed-Beings and Ignorance-Beings. Our dreams also filled with Buddha-Beings creating the space between the attachment-Beings wherein we can once again rest in naturalness.
Attachment-Beings. Zenho was talking with a friend the other day. He was suddenly aware of the movie Good Will Hunting. More particularly, the scene in the movie when Robin Williams and Matt Damon have the following exchange: “It’s not your fault.” “Yeah, I know.” “No! Really! IT’S NOT YOUR FAULT.”
Here what comes up for me when sitting with Zenho’s teaching:
Attachments are being, the essential life experience, the “all-encompassing”. They are not separate from the the burgeoning forth of all things of themselves. Attachments arise and release without any “doing” on our parts. Because really, there is no doer.
Releasing self-judgement and criticism is the action of realizing. Attachment arises in and of itself, and is without stain or flaw. The pain of self-inditement arises because the ego-indulgence of investigating these thoughts, resulting in clinging to them and so begins the cycle of attempting to apply effort to release the attachment. Clearly, erroneous mental gymnastics.
Zenho’s transformative realization as non-doing in “the creation of” or “the cause of” or the “release of” the attachment and his realization of the state of “attachment-being” is a liberating teaching. Through this the “I” dissolves when we realize attachment as it actually is; a state of being. There is naturalness of mind along with an ease and comfort in surrendering the ego. In doing so the immensity of All This floods in bringing with it freedom from striving and the release of energy Zenho describes.
Please read Being-Time (or Shobogenzo Uji ) by Dogen as a follow up to this.
Deep peace, great love ~Issan
SCHEDULE for Jan. 15-21
Zenho & Issan are not at the Tea House this week.. There will be NO Zoom meetings.
Please coordinate with one another on the group messaging if you want to sit together this week.
MONDAY, 6:30AM: ZAZEN AT THE TEA HOUSE, David will open
Thank you Noah for the poem this week!
has been so
Tiptoeing on the edge of a knife
As if I wanted to slip
And perhaps soon
I will let it go as they say
Just to watch the snow drift down
For the first time this season
But for now it is too
Agonizing over which
Street to turn down
Until I walk