Doing what must be done
Message of the Spiritual Council of AZI
Each year, we hit the drums to remind us of the importance of good times to practice when we meet in the various centres, temples and dojos, and of course at La Gendronnière, our mother temple. And every year, some come, some don't. Everyone has their reasons, and those reasons are always good. However, the reasons we give ourselves for not answering this call are often poor on the Way; as if time was eternally extensible, and everything could be put off until later.
What can we say this year when we are really prevented? This time, the reason is a matter of life and death. We are forbidden to move. Many sesshins have been cancelled all over the world.
We still think that we have the choice to come and go; the choice of free will. But isn't there arrogance in the illusion of this form of freedom?
Does not real freedom lie rather in respect for customs, in doing what must be done, in a form of fidelity to oneself, to the thing said, to ordination?
Think of the immobile trees whose life is lived in the same place, without any possibility of escaping the cold or fleeing from the sun, and yet they stand majestically. Small, big or gnarled, the tree fulfils its function in nature, and its life has something of the monk's life.
There is a reflection in a work by Rabelais (in old French: Tout vray à tout vray consonne), which says: "If signs make you angry, O when you make things signified angry. »
Which in modern language would be written:
"If the signs irritate you, oh how much you will irritate the things they mean! All
true signifier corresponds to a true signified. »
We often talk in Zen about awakening to oneself, to one's true nature. In the West, we willingly talk about self-awareness, and behind that we can guess the obsession with the ego - small and big ego -, with oneself at the center of the universe.
But as soon as we awaken, our profound nature joins the universal, which, like the universe, is in constant expansion.
The Japanese philosopher Kitarō Nishida speaks of an awakening of the self :
"A flash of eternity in time, an ephemeral sensation of totality amidst the fragmentary goals and ambitions that usually drive our lives. »
Dôgen says: "When the Way is entrusted to the Way, we get the Way. »
There's no ego to give up. There's nothing to give up. The very idea of an ego to give up is absurd. It's like the desire for freedom that's just a prisoner's idea.
Everything is fundamentally free. We ourselves weave the ropes that bind our hands and feet.
We can see the crisis we are experiencing as just another crisis, and that soon life will return to the way it was before. It would be better to see it as a sign that should speak to our heart, and question us about our way of being, of living; about our environment, about the world in which we live, and the one in which we want to live.
I leave you these words coming from ancient Taoism:
"Embrace the joy that passes in flight,
And live in the rising sun of eternity. »
Kind regards to all of you.
Raphaël Dôkô Triet