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February 11, 2019

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Zen: Wonderfully Useless

August 26, 2019


Kōdō Sawaki (沢木 興道 Sawaki Kōdō, June 16, 1880 – December 21, 1965), is recognized for taking Zen out of the monasteries and onto the streets. Know as "Wandering Kodo," he went for from town-to-town teaching shikantaza. This wandering approach was much the same as Ho-Tei, a wandering Chinese monk. He the laughing-one of the big-belly, often confused with Shakyamuni Buddha.


Wandering Kodo offers a way of practice that my teacher Taiun Elliston-Roshi speaks of when he says there is more than one way to skin a Zen-Cat. Sawaki-Roshi says Zen is wonderfully useless, another skinning.


What does it mean to be non-attached? Does it mean not to love or to hate? Or, does it mean don't be consumed by it. In everyday life we get angry, hate, fall-in love, like and dislike things over and over again. So attachment is seen as normal. However, the word that gets our attention in today's world is to say we have an addiction or self-consuming habit.


So to fully experience and let it go or unfold knowing all things change is losing the bondage of constant interpretation and analysis that holds the merit or non-merit of existence.


Even so, flowers fall amid our longing and weeds spring up amid our antipathy-Dogen





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