How does one close the gap on what we already are? The short answer to that is you don't... because you can't. Despite this very clear and simple truth people try anyway, thinking thinking thinking it can't possibly be true that we are Buddha... Universal Identity of Loving Presence.
A long time ago in a galaxy far far away... sitting in a dokusan room, with my teacher, I glanced over my shoulder as a kind of gesture saying, "Just look at the path of shit I've come from, I'm covered in it!" That provoked the response... "And despite being covered in all that shit doesn't mean that we're actually shit. All the drugs you did in your past... did that make you the drugs? You don't look like a pile of cocaine, a bale of marijuana, or a bottle of alcohol to me." He must have been having a good time with the thought, because he literally cackled with laughter after he said it. The representative "i" that transacted as me wasn't laughing. In fact the small i was pissed, as i was replaying the thought stream of experiences. Dukkha sucks!
People... more accurately thoughts... are really good at thinking us out of Reality. The mind has some well curated and cared for grievances, doubts, regrets towards our self and others. Those thoughts tend to be a feature and not a glitch in our moving wave of experience, that create an imaginary wall of separation... a kind of curtain... that blocks the view in the room of Buddha-nature that we are.
And sooooo Zazen. Sitting in unification; physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually. All aspects of self pointing in the same direction... congruent. Embodied In the body, the back is straight, the chin level, the eyes are unfocused and looking downward at a 45° angle, shoulders rolled away from the neck. Our breathing is low and slow. The mind is attention is directed towards our hands.... The left palm holding the right, that rest ever so lightly just below our belly button, with the attention held like an autumn leaf. The awareness is turned inward towards our feelings 360°. We're noticing the feelings... those that are pleasant... unpleasant... and those that are uncategorized... just there floating like clouds on our inner sky-like nature of awareness. The spiritual... aspirational aspect of our posture is our intention. It's to be without fear or obscuration... to experience ourselves with wholesomeness: physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually... abiding as friendliness and kindness... not allowing thinking mind to obstruct our ease.
In This practice, we make and hold space for our self-care. It's our responsibility, which gives us deep and meaningful respond-ability to present moment circumstances. Through consistent... daily practice... the mind loses it's capacity to alienate us from our authentic Buddha nature... our authentic identity... Universal Loving Presence. Like a jar of muddy water, when no longer stirred up, with enough time, original clarity is restored. Its cinderella or Rip Van Winkle waking from the dreamland spells cast by the transitory "i", having be kissed by our sincere practice. One person... merely different perspectives. Sometimes buddha is sleeping. Sometimes buddha is awake. Still always the same buddha... no damaged goods to be found. As Jofukyoho Bodhisattva would say to everyone that he encountered... “I see the splendid Buddha in you. I have no criticisms or insults for you.” Please verify this for authentic You as YOU.
一Dignity and Grace