For the past 2-days, I have been reading excerpts of the excellent Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind book, from Shunryu Suzuki.
I tend to revisit it on a yearly basis.
This particular reading helped bring peace to my heart and calm to my mind.
I was thinking about absolute presence.
When nothing interrupts you, and you execute things with first-principles without anxiety or fear of judgment from others.
There is no procrastination only ruthless prioritization.
This is a big challenge, but a very doable one.
We should all aim to be present, leave no traces and, ultimately, burn like ash.
I randomly opened the book on this page:
“In order not to leave any traces, when you do something,
you should do it with your whole body and mind; you should
be concentrated on what you do. You should do it com-
pletely, like a good bonfire. You should not be a smoky
fire. You should burn yourself completely. If you do not
burn yourself completely, a trace of yourself will be left in
what you do. You will have something remaining which is
not completely burned out. Zen activity is activity which
is completely burned out, with nothing remaining but ashes.
This is the goal of our practice. That is what Dogen meant
when he said, “Ashes do not come back to firewood.” Ash
is ash. Ash should be completely ash. The firewood should
be firewood. When this kind of activity takes place, one
activity covers everything.
So our practice is not a matter of one hour or two hours,
or one day or one year. If you practice zazen with your whole
body and mind, even for a moment, that is zazen. So moment
after moment you should devote yourself to your practice.” — SHUNRYU SUZUKI -
Often times, when we do a task, perform a speech, go on a date or even cook a meal, we project a certain intention, we project an expectation of meaning that ultimately is only there to feed our ego and mess with our presence.
If you throw a wooden Buddha in the fire it will burn, if you throw a bronze Buddha in the water it will sink. Ultimately, Buddha is inside of us, when we are present we are Buddha. We are "boss".
We can be self-reliant, maters of our fate.
Ultimately, only you can help yourself.
Happiness lies within. Don't complain, don't victimize yourself.
If you do, you will suffer the consequences.
"if you understand the secret of our practice,
wherever you go, you yourself are "boss." No matter what
the situation, you cannot neglect Buddha, because you your-
self are Buddha. Only this Buddha will help you completely." — SHUNRYU SUZUKI