In a book, called "Points of Departure, Zen Buddhism with a Rinzai View," my first teacher wrote an essay entitled, "Eliminate the Negative." It reads as follows...
"Master Rinzai says, As I see it, there are none who are not emancipated.
The problem is that many of you think, Oh, Master Rinzai is great, but I am not yet emancipated. I assume that someday in the future, I will be, but as of now, I am not.
Many of us think: I'm terrible; I'm not there yet; I'm full of delusion. Can't you see how many mistakes I've made in my life? I'm not yet emancipated, I'm not enlightened. But it will not help you to cling to "I'm bad, I'm terrible" and at the very same time expect to be relieved of your suffering. Being our own worse critic is being our own worse critic. There's not a lot of unconditional positive regard in that.
Go out! Live deeply! Breathe some fresh air, look up at the cloudless sky, inhale deeply, and exhale completely. Free yourself from this good-and-bad thinking. Come back to your zazen in a neutral condition, and fearlessly and unconditionally do Mu. If you can drop off your negative thinking so as to leave yourself in a more neutral condition, and if you can do what Dharma asks you to do without judgmental thoughts, then kensho, insight, and emancipation will not be long in visiting you."
Fine words. My way of relating is simply to say... No matter what the thinking mind says... we're continuous Universal Loving Presence. Non as Now... live your life as such... and notice the result. Fearing less... naturally and seamlessly Loving-Kindness nature... Metta nature... flows. Trust yourself... Today.
一We are the Practice Itself
The characters 消負, Shōfū mean... eliminating negativity... as a result of Zazen (meditation)