Sewing and Wearing the Buddhist Robes and
How It Relates to Our Practice
19 June 1971
San Francisco Zendō
Last Sunday I told you that, whatever religion you belong to, it doesn’t matter when you to come and sit with us. That is because our way of sitting, of practice, is for you to become yourself. Katagiri-rōshi always says, “to settle oneself on oneself.” To be yourself. When you become you, yourself, at that moment your practice includes everything. Whatever there is, it is a part of you. So you practice with Buddha, you practice with Bodhidharma and you practice with Jesus. You practice with everyone in the future or in past. That is our practice. But when you do not become yourself, it doesn’t happen in that way.
So if you come here and sit with us, you’re not only sitting with us, but you are also sitting with everything, including animate and inanimate beings. Dogen Zenji said, if your practice doesn’t include everything, that is not real practice.
It is not that after practicing for long time, you attain enlightenment and your practice includes everything, and you can practice with everyone. When you join our practice, your practice includes everything. And if you think that in two or three years, after your practice improves, that your practice will be perfect enough to include everything, that is a mistake. Something is missing in that practice. The sincerity is missing.