What is it about head colds that zap brain cells? I haven't taken any medication that would make me groggy, but all I've been able to do for the past half hour is stare at the monitor and wish I were taking a nap.
With the caveat that I'm not exactly on top of things today -- please do read the post "Authentic Practice" at Wild Fox Zen. Koun Franz writes that authentic practice has two components:
- "Authentic practice is radically, emphatically impersonal."
- "Authentic practice is expressed physically, moment by moment; that is, it is not purely internal or mental."
That first component might be surprising to some of you. If it is, let's discuss.
In the Zen tradition one hears the word "intimate" a lot, and we usually think of "intimate" as relating to something or someone on a deeply personal level. Yet Koun Franz says practice isn't personal. On the surface this seems to be a contradiction.
But in this intimacy there is no separation between "person" and "object of intimacy." Here's a lovely essay on intimacy by another Soto Zen teacher, Nonin Chowaney, that explains this a lot better than I can at the moment.
Nonin quotes Dogen's Tenzo Kyokun, instruction for the cook, in which Dogen said a monastery's cook should handle grains of rice as if they were his own eyes. This brought to mind Dogen's words from Genjokoan --
To carry yourself forward and experience myriad things is delusion. That myriad things come forth and experience themselves is awakening.
See? Not personal.
This may be reaching into places that are familiar to practitioners but baffling to people who are more into Buddhism as intellectual exercise. Explanations only go so far.
I think I have more to say, but I need a nap.