"If we see practice as a means of attaining enlightenment, enlightenment will become a kind of ideal and our practice will become a kind of idealistic practice. Buddhism is not idealism. Buddhism rejects the notion that enlightenment or happiness can be realised through intellectual effort or understanding. Buddhism states that the Truth is here, and the Truth is now. Happiness exists in sincere effort at the moment of the present. Enlightenment and practice are, therefore, one and the same. If we want to study true Buddhism, we must retain this understanding. If we want to find true happiness, we must find it in work, in action, in practice - here and now. We must find it in zazen. Zazen is enlightenment itself. Zazen is Buddhism itself. Buddhism is zazen."
(To Meet the Real Dragon. GUDO WAFU NISHIJIMA. Windbell Publications, 2nd edition, 1992.)
[a personal note on the above]
i encountered this book many years ago, and was so "taken" with it, that i wrote to Nishijima Roshi. My three or four letters were each politely answered by him. However my practice these days, accords with everything except that i feel that the zazen posture is not as vital, as some zen practitioners would have it. It is enuf to just sit quietly... In this, i have been influenced a lot by the books of Toni Packer and Joan Tollifson... by Buddhists and non-Buddhists.
i still "enjoy" returning to this book to read the chapter on Zazen. It remains a sort of inspiration... a lamp unto me, still.
JUST SIT-DOWN, SHUT-UP AND BE PRESENT.
golden goji hermitage
28 / may / 2015