Saturday, January 17, 2009

Daily Dharma - Charlotte Joko Beck on Awareness


A nice Daily Dharma from Tricycle. This is the basic impulse of Buddhism - awareness.

Charlotte Joko Beck on awareness

There's an old Zen story: a student said to Master Ichu, "Please write for me something of great wisdom." Master Ichu picked up his brush and wrote one word: "Attention." The student said, "Is that all?" The master wrote, "Attention Attention."...

For "attention" we could substitute the word "awareness." Attention or awareness is the secret of life and the heart of practice....[E]very moment in life is absolute itself. That's all there is. There is nothing other than this present moment; there is no past, there is no future; there is nothing but this. So when we don't pay attention to every little this, we miss the whole thing. And the contents of this can be anything. This can be straightening our sitting mats, chopping an onion, visiting one we don't want to visit. It doesn't matter what the contents of the moment are; each moment is absolute. That's all there is, and all there ever will be. If we could totally pay attention, we would never be upset. If we're upset, it's axiomatic that we're not paying attention.If we miss not just one moment, but one moment after another, we're in trouble.

~ Charlotte Joko Beck, Nothing Special: Living Zen; from Everyday Mind, edited by Jean Smith, a Tricycle boo.

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