Daily Dharma

Those who donated to our crowdfunding Indiegogo campaign last fall are getting daily e-mails this month as a thank-you and part of the May Sit. We wanted to share these with everyone, though they are a day or so later. This was the May 11 offering.

The first text in italics is from Cultivating the Empty Field by Zen Master Hongzhi, translated by Taigen Daniel Leighton with Yi Wu. The commentary following it is from one of the teachers at Dharma Rain Zen Center.

CultivatingEmptyField-Honzhi-revPatch-robed monks practice thoroughy without carrying a single thread. Open-mindedly sparkling and pure, they are like a mirror reflecting a mirror, with nothing regarded as outside, without capacity for accumulating dust. They illuinate everything fully, perceiving nothing [as an object]. This is called taking up the burden from inside and is how to shoulder responsibility… The valley spirit echoes the sound. The wind master walks in the sky. Unobstructed and free, beyond restraints, they do not depend on even subtle indicators, and their essential spirit cannot be eclipsed. Fulfilled, wander around and arrive at such a field. The entire place secure, the entire place at leisure, the open field of the white ox is plain and simple, of one color. If you chase the ox, still he will not go away. You must intimately experience and arrive here.

Shouldering this particular kind of immediate responsibility is one of the most important marks of practice. Arising from a familiarity with the contrivances of our many, limited selves, we find a confidence that this experience is specifically ours to meet. Doing so thoroughly shows presence, appreciation, and a certain freedom from the defensive patterns that might otherwise crop up: Distraction, blaming, justifying, etc… If we don’t do that, and attend to the experience, the ‘problem’ transforms. When this willingness to take responsibiity is manifested there is no object for resistance to land on. Our valley spirit, our wind master are perfectly at peace with each and every experience. Generously offering attention to the moment, it is fulfilled.