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 8 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-revThe Way is not what the ancestors transmit. Before the ancestors come, it already pervades the whole environment. On its own, illumination emerges from causes and conditions. All buddhas arrive here and regard this as the ultimate. They respond to transformations and disperse their bodies as flowers, leaves, roots, and dusts.

As people of practice, we can mistake Buddhism for reality. Buddhism is merely a human institution, and all that the ancestors have ever taught are simply words. These are our feeble efforts to explain and celebrate the living truth of the Way that is the world. The same is true of enlightenment. Delusion, ignorance, wisdom and clarity all emerge as beings emerge. The most perfect expression of enlightenment is a fully engaged being, arising from and returning to the matrix of the universe. Today, just lead your ordinary life, be your ordinary self, and don’t rely on the words and ideas of others.