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On Having A Practice

17 Jan 2022 1:00 PM | Genpo Roshi

I realized something the other day I’ll share with you all.  I’ve been talking with a person who I see is in a difficult situation which he complains about a lot.  And I realize I would love to work with him, but because he doesn’t have a practice it’s impossible.  So I want to say this:

When we take on a practice we also take on learning, we take on the willingness to learn and to grow, and to see it all as teaching.  Before we have a practice we don’t see life as a teaching or as dharma.  We see it as happening, events and so forth, and all the emotions that go on with it; but we don’t see it as a practice, as a training, as a way to help us evolve and to grow and mature.  So everything becomes kind of empty, because it doesn’t have any real meaning or value.  Because we don’t see it as a practice.

The moment we switch to ‘I have a practice,’ — whatever the practice is; I call mine Zen — I’m willing to work with these things, I’m willing to work with problems, I’m willing to work with my difficulties or my conflicts.  Before that we just complain and bitch about them.  The difference is, we take on a practice.

So for example when you’re trying to own the one who is fully satisfied, you can see that the practice is releasing, or stopping being so identified with the self.  You see?  Because the more I identify with the self, or the self identifies with the self, then the less you’re present as the one who’s fully satisfied.  It makes sense, right?  It makes complete sense.  We just have to know that.  That’s right remembrance.

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