Wednesday, 27 March 2019


299. Does living fully in the present moment leave no room for eagerly anticipating the arrival of some future event? Does the grateful enjoyment of what is given here and now rule out the experience of missing a dear friend who happens to be far away? The practice of shikantaza, of just being fully present and involved in the act of zazen, just doing sitting Zen, must not be thought of as a closed off activity. For being present to just this breathing moment entails being open to all that it has to offer. And an  important feature of what is being offered in the now is its openness to the future. The present moment in itself is finite and so cannot satisfy one who would walk the endless path of the Awakened One. Focusing on the step that is being taken, the Zen practitioner takes that step in the direction of a longed for horizon that forever recedes. As for possibilities that might materialise on the path that lies ahead, between now and the receding horizon, the practitioner will relish what is attractive and fear what is threatening, but without clinging to the emotions and ideas that these give rise to.     

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