Wednesday, November 30, 1966
Old Bush Street Zendo
by Tony Artino
(Tony missed the first part of the lecture)
Religion is just for ourselves. We cannot really be religious for others. But neither can we help ourselves without helping others.
The point is to get beyond merely deliberate conscious behavior. To consciously help others is a self-centered activity. Correct helping is an activity without (self-determined) purpose, without self-conscious aim. Similarly, self-conscious zazen will lead to problems-self-created problems. Such problems are natural for beginners, but because they arise “naturally” is no reason to be acquiescent about them.
Zen practice is not training in the ordinary sense. Ordinary training is to improve ourselves; Zen practice is to be ourselves.