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“Holding up empty space scooping up valley water”

“Holding up empty space scooping up valley water to build a stupa and create a Buddha image.”

Commentary on Dogen’s chapter Space page 96.

All endeavors arise from energy.  But this energy is not ours  it’s the universal energy which flows through us.  We give it direction.  Our intentions decide which form that energy will take.  Whether we use it for selfish or unselfish ends.  So the pivotal point is our intentions; intention being more important than form. Thus we can use energy to give power only to ourselves or give that power away to improve the life of others.

Dogen expresses this in a poetic way by saying: to build a stupa, to create a Buddha image.

Saving all sentient beings is the Bodhisattva motive.  The happiness of others comes before your own.  When we align our lives with dharma, energy flow is boundless.  Things seem to fall into place, as you might have noticed.

Then all endeavors come easy, like holding up empty space scooping up water to create a Buddha image: The effort intangible, the merit immeasurable.

Just this aspiration: Living life like a Buddha is the ongoing practice of arousing enlightenment.

Wilbur Mushin Sensi

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