05 April 2011

Dukkha Roshi

I was reminded the other day in teisho that dukkha is our teacher.  It's very, very good to have it said out loud every once in a while.  I know I can always stand to hear it.

Sometimes I lose sight of the distinction between avoiding dukkha and coming to the end of dukkha:
Avoiding dukkha means turning away from it; coming to the end of dukkha means facing it head on.

Avoiding dukkha means trying to alter circumstances; coming to the end of dukkha means discovering my own resistances and attachments in the midst of circumstances.

Avoiding dukkha means keeping up the conceit of a self; coming to the end of dukkha means realizing the self's utter emptiness.

Avoiding dukkha only results in more dukkha; coming to the end of dukkha is the only way to find release from dukkha.
Perhaps this is why I find Zen to be such an honest practice.  There is nothing about it that provides the least insulation from dukkha.  Nothing.  Of course, I can put up all the insulation I want, but, in the end, I also know it won't be practice.

I often wonder what it is I'm supposed to do to make priest practice different from lay practice.  Maybe it's a matter of being just that much more willing to open up to dukkha's tuition.

1 comment:

  1. This is indeed a very important post. Many of those who walk the path of spirituality are trapped with the idea of nonattachment; in their attempt, they avoid and resist instead of accept and let go.

    In gassho.