The Heart of Our Practice
ZEN MASTER DAE BONGMAY 1, 2018
We talk about practicing in our everyday life. There’s a great saying: “Zen mind is everyday mind.” Sometimes we aren’t willing to look at our everyday life really seriously, moment to moment, and face the way we behave. But that is what our practice is about. The meditation room is one situation, but each moment is most important. It’s painful to look at our lives because we can see our reactions, and they may not match our understanding of things and the ideas we have.
I noticed when I was a new student that if I was really trying hard—getting up before the wake-up bell, really trying to do mantra, doing all the chants, eating formal meals, working all day, not goofing around at night—when I really tried to do that, my mind was a mess. I could do it, but all this garbage thinking was coming and going all the time. If I decided one day not to go to work, to go someplace and read a book, I might feel good. But if I looked at my life, I wasn’t doing my job.
It’s very difficult sometimes to just do what you have to do. If you can do that, you give other people a tremendous gift: you relieve their suffering automatically. That’s the heart of our practice. If we can really do it, digest the anger, resentment, ignorance, and greed that keep us from living our lives where each moment is valued, we will produce tremendous energy.