Posts Tagged ‘Work’

August 21st, 1967

Monday, August 21st, 1967

Suzuki-roshi and Lama Govinda

GENJŌ-KŌAN NO.  2 [1?]

Monday, August 21, 1967

Zen Mountain Center, Tassajara

Edited by Brian Fikes

There is a slight difference between your usual activity and the activity in our monastery.  Of course, we do our best in our everyday work in order to support our activity.  The work you do should be done with your very best effort and to the best of your ability.  But you should not be too attached or take pride in your ability.  Forgetting all about your ability and the result of your effort, you should still do your best in your work.  This is how you work in a monastery as a part of practice.

And everyone has their own responsibility.  We should work within our responsibilities; we should not invade someone else’s responsibility.  This is also the teaching of “form is emptiness and emptiness is form.” We are working on something right now, and we do not know what we will work on tomorrow.  But right now, what you are working on is your practice, and when you work, just work in your position.  In your posi­tion and in your work there is meaning.  So each one’s responsibility or position is very important for us.  If this is the case, we should not invade someone else’s work.  Each of us should work on our position.  When you do so, there is our practice.  Form is emptiness and emptiness is form.  When you work on the form which is your responsibility, which is your work, there is empti­ness.  But the form, or the position, you have right now is not a permanent one.  Right now you are working on it, and right now you should work on it.  Through your position, you can attain your own enlightenment.  We should work in this way.