Moss-covered Monk

Moss-covered Monk

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Thursday, November 22, 2012

A History of Samurai and Zen (18)

ZAZEN AND THE FORGETTING OF SELF

Zazen is a most effectual means of destroying selfishness, the root of all
Sin, folly, vice, and evil, since it enables us to see that every being is
endowed with divine spirituality in common with men. It is selfishness that
throws dark shadows on life, just as it is not the sun but the body that
throws shadow before it. It is the same selfishness that gave rise to the
belief in the immortality of soul, in spite of its irrationality, foolishness, and
superstition. Individual self should be a poor miserable thing if it were not
essentially connected with the Universal Life. We can always enjoy pure
happiness when we are united with nature, quite forgetful of our poor self.
When you look, for example, into the smiling face of a pretty baby, and
smile with it, or listen to the sweet melody of a songster and sing with it,
you completely forget your poor self at that enraptured moment. But your
feelings of beauty and happiness are for ever gone when you resume your
self, and begin to consider them after your own selfish ideas. To forget self
and identify it with nature is to break down its limitation and to set it at
liberty. To break down petty selfishness and extend it into Universal Self is
to unfetter and deliver it from bondage. It therefore follows that salvation
can be secured not by the continuation of individuality in another life, but
by the realization of one's union with Universal Life, which is immortal, free, limitless, eternal, and bliss itself. This is easily effected by Zazen.

~Kaiten Nukariya