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 26 offering.

CultivatingEmptyField-Honzhi-revThe 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.

You must know there is a path on which to turn yourself around. When you do turn yourself around you have no different face that can be recognized. When you have thoroughly investigated your roots back to their ultimate source, a thousand or ten thousand sages are no more than footprints on the trail. In wonder return to the journey, avail yourself of the path and walk ahead. With the hundred grass tips in the busy marketplace graciously share yourself. Wide open and accessible, walking along, casually mount the sounds and straddle the colors while you transcend listening and surpass watching.

We are all walking this path. There is always someone ahead and someone behind, but in each moment, each step we are taking is the only step, the complete step. The sages you follow can only leave footprints, and you have to make your own. When we deeply investigate our own lives, regardless of the lives of others, the examples and guidance we receive, the trail markers left behind—regardless of everything we see around us, it is our own life that we study. Turn around, and then around again. Look at it all. Hongzhi reminds us that we don’t practice alone in the forest forever. We turn around and return to the busy marketplace, where the hundred grass tips await. I am a grass tip, and so are you, and we are unique and the same at once. Just enter the marketplace with an open heart, let everything in. Share yourself.