On the great road of Buddha ancestors there is always unsurpassable practice, continuous and sustained. It forms the circle of the way and is never cut off. Between aspiration, practice-enlightenment, and nirvana, there is not a moment’s gap. Continuous practice is the circle of the way.
As we herald in the New Year, we kick start our practice with wholesome intentions to be kind, focused, grounded and to develop a wise and compassionate way of being in the world. It is a time to hold true to your intentions and prioritise what is important in your life, to not waste this precious life. For decades now we have had a responsible, supportive caring Sangha who help one another sustain a practice. Showing up at your local Sangha is a two-fold blessing. We do need wise friends to help us face what is to come. In order to embody our Bodhisattva vows of caring for one another, abandoning greed, hatred and delusion we need to train the mind, guide the heart and find ways to live ethically, harmoniously and sustainably together. For Zen Master Dogen, practice was not only a path to realisation, ultimately realisation manifests intimately as practice. Practice-realisation are inseparable. It represents the unity between embodied wisdom and the philosophy that all beings by their very nature are Buddha. The circle of wonder, of grace, of aspiration, and the joy of realising the empty one ground of mind is embodied here in this humble, ordinary, vulnerable being who sits down and wears clothes. Practice makes this genuine and real. Then the Way, the Tao practices us, enlivens us and flows naturally through us bringing this good heart-felt medicine into our daily lives. Let’s sustain a practice together, so we all wake up together.
These Encouraging Words “Continuous Practice of the Way, Until the Way Practices Us” were printed in the February/March 2024 SZC Newsletter