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 28 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.

Emerging from manifestations of existence and nonexistence, surpassing the emotions of deliberation and discussion, merely interact positively and appropriately without dependence upon others. All buddhas, all ancestors, all leaves, and all flowers relate in this manner. When responding they do not grasp at forms, where illuminating they do not attach to conditions. Then they can stay wide open and unhampered. Only this family wind appears complete everywhere. Let yourself accept it.

Hongzhi says “merely,” but there are so many ways to fail at this: Habitual patterns of selfhood are so easy and accessible. But Hongzhi’s flower, wide open and unhampered, shows us another way. Without dependence does not mean without need, caring, or relationship. Feeling this web of rapport, this interconnectedness, we find ourselves upright. Upright, this moment is ours to meet. There’s no time to prepare, he pushes out onto this tightrope and asks us to dance. Flowers don’t need to hide or argue why they deserve to be here, and they are not concerned with failing – life is so short! Independent of trappings of identity, they respond with vitality. Sometimes when the tightrope is presented, we tuck this flower away. Commit to witnessing the grief that accompanies this action the next time it happens.