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The comings and goings of everyday mind…

I am reading this wonderful new book by Kazuaki Tanahashi and Peter Levitt  titled The Essential Dogen Writings of the Great Zen Master. (2013) and in the chapter “All-Inclusive Mind” Dogen is quoted as saying: “Everyday mind is the way. ‘Everyday mind’ means to maintain everyday mind in this world or in any world.  Yesterday goes forth from this moment, and today comes forth from this place.  While going, the boundless sky goes, and while coming, the entire earth comes.  This is everyday mind (page 113).”

How difficult it is to stay in this moment and be aware of your everyday mind.  Sometimes my mind wanders from one thought to another so quickly I wonder how the heck I can ever keep up with it.  I get dizzy with the to do lists and the errands and the teaching and the writing and the taking care of mom. Until the moment when I remember my “three breaths”  and am brought into the now moment.  Or when I begin to chant the Pali prosperity chant that I learned from a CD a few months ago, or when I take time to simply sit, or eat mindfully, and then I know what Dogen was talking about!

Although the times may be scattered throughout the day my desire to find peace, compassion, and love in my life helps me remember.  My time at the Zendo sitting and being part of the Tenzo team, reading the many wonderful Zen books that I have collected,listening to the CDs on Buddhism, reading the Zen blogs that I find on WordPress are all  great tools to keep me centered and help me uncover my everyday mind, in everyday things, in everyday ways.

Mom and I were there just as Dogen said we could be: “While going, the boundless sky goes, and while coming, the entire earth comes.” It did one morning this week as I got mom into the car from her wheelchair and we both looked up at the beautiful  elusive morning moon in the western sky.

Travel lightly, Shokai

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