Tuesday, August 24, 2010

"Let's get on with it." Robert Aitken: 1917-2010

The passage below is from The Mind of Clover, p110, the chapter "Eating the Blame." In the chapter Aitken is discussing some of the famous stories of Zen, how the monks and their teachers can participate in "Dharma Combat" because they have stepped aside the self, the "me," and are able to speak from their true self. This is his question of us: Do you, in speaking about your practice, defend yourself, exonerate yourself? Or do you simply dance with the other and thereby reveal the dharma.

Sangha is a treasure of the Buddha Tao, ranking with enlightenment and the truth. Singing and dancing are the voice of the dharma; cooking and gardening are the voice of the Buddha. Sangha is the complementarity of unity and diversity, of emptiness and form. Sangha is the story of the Buddha, lived out in our work together.

The sangha ideal is our guide through the complexities of people in combination. Everybody is different, and so misunderstandings arise. With our realization of pure emptiness, with our sense that nothing really matters, we find true devotion because we no longer worry about ourselves. The great potential of the Dharmakāya becomes our own unimpeded great action. Differences become configurations we can use and our collective energy can be focused on the task.

Let’s get on with it. 

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