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 6 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.

If you truly appreciate a single thread your eye can suitably meet the world and its changes. Seeing clearly, do not be fooled, and the ten thousand situations cannot shroud you. Put to rest the remnants of your conditioning. Sit empty of world anxiety, silent and bright, clear and illuminating, blank and accepting, far-reaching and responsive. Without encountering external dusts, fulfilled in your own spirit, arrive at this field and immediately recognize your ancestors.

What does it mean to be blank? This can sound as though it is a lifeless state. But this is not that blankness. Hongzhi’s blankness is the canvas waiting for the brush. This is the breath taken as the symphony begins. Most of the time, we cover the world with our ideas, opinions and preferences. We don’t see clearly because we look through a veil of ideas and desires. When we are able to drop these, the world as it is appears. Today, be aware of all that you add to the world. Notice how you cover up and decorate what is around you with your own judgment, and try to see what is in front of you without anything extra.

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