We have to separate ourselves from our ego filter and the idea of self on which we are stuck. It is true that there is also the small “i” that lives, but we cannot function from the essential way of being and the true way of seeing when we are stuck and attached and unclear. The small self is always obstructive to the higher quality way of doing things. Those who find the higher way of doing things are the ones who do Zen and work hard to let go of their small selves.
People who do kendo and are obstructed by their small selves are unable to know their opponent’s mind. If they cannot see the other’s mind, their movements become small and limited; they cannot move in a large and free-flowing way. For those who do flower arranging, if the arrangement is full of their own small-minded concepts, then the flowers will be full of a sense of self- importance, and there will not be any true harmony. In tea ceremony as well, if you present tea with dualistic ideas coming first, then the tea will not be served freely and without the stain of small-mindedness. There is no smooth flow to it, and while it is perhaps harmonious in form, it is not harmony from the deep heart. In the Noh theater or in calligraphy or in archery, zazen is given life in this same way.
After we have learned the technique we can go beyond it and separate from it, becoming one with the entire universe. In this way, we can give life to a magnanimous functioning.
一Shodo Harada, Roshi
放心 | Hōshin | Peace of Heart and Mind