Monday, July 1, 2013

June 2013 Ordination and Child Dedication

30 June 2013
Bakersfield Museum of Art Sculpture Garden
Excerpts from Japanese Master Daichi Sokei’s [14th century] teaching to the samurai Kikusi when ordained a bodhisattva. (See The Zen Way to the Martial Arts by Taisen Deshimaru.)
Photos by Cortnie Enns unless otherwise noted..
Summer sesshin culminated in ordination and child dedication ceremonies at the Bakersfield Museum of Art Sculpture Garden.

Photo by Patrick Blake

If you want to know, beyond any doubt, the truth about the fundamental problem of life and death, you must first put your faith in mujo bodai shin, the peerless wisdom of the Buddha.

What does bodai shin mean? It means the state of mind that has observed mujo (impermanence, constant change) and observed it to the full.

Photo by Bob Savage
Photo by Leigh Collins

Among all living things, not one escapes change and death. Mujo is hanging over your head at every instant, and may strike before you know.

Photo by Leigh Collins
Photo by Leigh Collins

That is why the sutra says, This day is ending and with it must end your life. Observe the innocent joy of the fish swimming in a puddle of water, precarious though that joy may be.”

Photo by Leigh Collins
You must concentrate and consecrate yourself wholly to each day, as if a fire were raging in your hair. You must always be prudent, remember mujo, and never weaken.

Photo by Leigh Collins

When you life receives a blow from mujo, you will go forward to death alone. There will be none to keep you company, not even family. Not even the palaces of kings or the royal crown can follow a dead body.

The one who seeks the true spiritual way of Buddhism must begin by planting mujo in her heart as solidly as an oak tree. Soon your death will come. Never forget that, from one moment of consciousness to the next, from breathing in to breathing out. If you do not live like this, you are not truly one that seeks the Way.

Now I will tell you the best way to solve the problem of life and death: practice zazen.

Zazen is sitting on a zafu in a quiet room, absolutely still, in the exact posture, without uttering a word, the mind empty of any thought, good or bad. And zazen is continuing to sit peacefully, facing a wall, and nothing more—every day.

In zazen there is no special mystery, but through zazen your life will surely prosper and flourish. So you must let go of every intention and give up the idea of achieving any goal through zazen.

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