--Eihei Dogen, from Genjokoan
|Eihei Dogen (1200-1253)|
For awhile now, I had been re-reading Pema Chodron's Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change, digesting it a chapter at a time once again before retiring at night. (I also acquired a series of talks she gave during a retreat that introduced the book and listened to it while commuting from Barre to Greenfield several days a week.)
With these offerings, Ani Pema presented a three fold Practice for engaging life directly "off the zafu." Rather than spin out in the habitual patterns of reaction as we're accustomed to doing, we can remember to:
Be fully present (perhaps using a few breaths and the sensations in our body as anchors to the present moment)
Feel our hearts
Engage the next moment without agenda
This Practice can change everything -- when I remember to do it.
More of the Same, Only Different
Several weeks ago, I spied a copy of Shohaku Okumura's Realizing Genjokoan: The Key to Dogen's Shobogenzo laying in the back seat of my buddhy Peel Sonier's car as we're driving to Greenfield for the #OMG! Noon Sit. Having been hoodwinked into a bit of koan study by Daido Roshi during my residency at Zen Mountain Monastery (a funny tale which I won't go into here), I had been deeply touched as I studied Genjokoan with the Roshi. Having been also touched by the writings of Okumura, one of the founding forces of the Pioneer Valley Zendo in neighboring Charlemont, and his teacher, Kosho Uchiyama, I immediately asked Peel if I could borrow the book. He smiled and said "sure."
The timing was perfect. Sometimes the right book at the right time can make all the difference.