Set aside all involvements

Dōgen watching the moon. Hōkyōji monastery, Fukui prefecture, circa 1250

Dōgen watching the moon. Hōkyōji monastery, Fukui prefecture, circa 1250

Set aside all involvements and let the myriad things rest. Zazen is not thinking of good, not thinking of bad. It is not conscious endeavour. It is not introspection. Do not desire to become a buddha; let sitting or lying down drop away. Be moderate in eating and drinking. Be mindful of the passing of time, and engage yourself in zazen as though saving your head from fire. (Dōgen)

This morning I got up at around 6.40am, said my prayers, fed the birds, ate my breakfast … all very much as usual. Then, after listening to the 8 o’clock news on the radio, I slipped my shoes off, climbed back into bed (fully clothed) and fell asleep.

The sound of a voice awakened me. It was the midday news bulletin.

That’s one way to set aside all involvements and let the myriad things rest, I suppose.

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