SESSHIN LECTURE, 7th DAY: CLOSING WORDS
February 12, 1971
[Note: The audio for this lecture starts at 23:50 of the mp3 file.]
The Sixth Patriarch said: “To dwell on emptiness and to keep calm mind is not zazen,” he said. Or he said, you know: “Just to sit in squatting—sitting position is not Zen.” But we say, you know, you—you have to just sit [laughs]. If you don’t understand what is our practice and stick to those words, you will be confused. But if you understand what is real Zen, it is quite usual warning, you know—a kind of warning for us.
Now our sesshin is almost [at an] end. But—and some people, maybe, you know, go back to their home and participate or involved in previous everyday activities. But if you practice—if you have been practicing true zazen, you will not, you know—you may be happy to go back to your everyday life. You may be encouraged, you know, by our practice to—in going back to your everyday life. But if you feel, you know, if you feel hesitate [hesitant] to go back to your or—go back to your city life or everyday life, it means that, you know, you will still stick to zazen.
So that is why the Sixth Patriarch said: “If you,” you know, “dwell on emptiness and stick to your practice, then that is not true zazen.” When you practice zazen, moment after moment, you accept what you have now and what you have in that moment, and satisfying with everything you do, and you don’t—you do not—you don’t have any complaint because you just accept it, then that is zazen. Or even though you cannot do that, you know what you should do. Then sitting zazen will encourage you to do some other thing. Just as you accepted your painful legs, you accept difficult everyday life. Because city life may be more difficult than your zazen practice, so zazen practice will encourage you to have more difficulties.