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Listening and Realizing Ryōdō

On the pathway of Zen, we immerse ourselves in a practice of "Ryōdō" (聆道), encompassing physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual stillness. This involves listening, noticing, and realizing the way or path, while wholly embracing each moment as it unfolds, free from clinging or desire. There’s an absence of the artificial sweeteners of craving; no fantasizing about rewards as we navigate through the endless field of insecurities that dwell within the self, as we reactively try to soothe the mind's restlessness, irritability, discontent, and tendency toward isolation.

Zen master Dogen eloquently stated, "To study the Way is to study the self. To study the self is to forget the self. To forget the self is to be enlightened by all things. To be enlightened by all things is to remove the barriers between oneself and others."

Meeting and accomplishing this task involves listening to and realizing the deepest part of ourselves. It cannot be imagined through thought. It’s beyond skin, beyond blood and bone, and beyond the cells that are allegedly the building blocks of who we assume we are. This journey is decidedly not an intellectual expedition but rather an intuitive discovery exploration. Superficial and inconsistent effort will not bring us to full 360° clarity.

What does this mean for You as an authentic YOU? The invitation is to practice as more than being a passive or random visitor in a meditation center or hall. I'm inviting you into Zazen, not for the sake of Zazen, but to truly meet yourself through deep and undivided listening! Personally, I don't take time for zazen... I make the time. Why? The mind can be loud in its own way, influencing a kind of forgetfulness. It's so a crucial part of my well-being. No conscious and intentional processing of muck and mud, no lotus.

一We Are the Practice Itself

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