From Zen Master Dogen’s Shobogenzo, Shoji (Life and Death)
It is a mistake to think that life turns into death. Life is a position at one time with its own before and after. Consequently, in the Buddha Dharma it is said that life is itself no-arising. Death is a position at one time with its own before and after. Consequently, it is said that death is itself no-perishing. In life there is nothing other than life. In death, there is nothing other than death. Therefore, when life comes, just live. And when death comes, just die. Neither avoid them nor desire them.
Each and everything then, is in its own non-becoming ‘place’, unique place, at each moment, simultaneously here and gone. with its own before and after. So? Nothing to get excited about. And everything to be grateful for since it is impossible to become stuck in ones everlast place. Not for long anyway!
Bows to Zen Master Dogen and all who venerate, read and appreciate his teaching.
7 thoughts on “Non-Becoming”
I have spent a lot of time this year being with elderly relatives whose lives are coming to an end, have become dependent on others to stay alive but don’t seem ready to die. It has made me question what it means to ‘be alive’. I thought I knew and I find that I don’t – not fully, anyway. This is a helpful reminder – thank you, Rev. Mugo.
I’ve an idea. I’ll write to you about it. You sparked off some thoughts with this comment. Thanks.
Yeh, but I still find it scary!
Agree with previous remarks. It’s all very well, but I am missing, at the moment, two very dear friends who died within the last three years. My very first true friends, part of my life, one of them right from my childhood in France. Just saying ‘life is life and death is death’ is no help at all. Guess I must be peculiar? or just human?
Dear Annette, I can assure you that you are indeed human. There is a ‘before’ and an ‘after’ and after includes missing, grief, sadness etc. etc. I just re-read a post I did last year after a dear friend died. Brenda. You can find the post here: http://www.jademountains.net/old-life-completely-past-and-done/ The poem was written by a chap Mark Rowan. At the time when I received it, I found solace. I hope it speaks to you. Yes, life is life and death is death, is about acceptance which doesn’t mean one doesn’t have all the human emotions one has around death, and life for that matter.
Love yer, as ever. Mugo
I get this, but it’s so difficult some days. I think I’m still hoping for a release, a relief from suffering, and that is somehow helping to sustain it. Working on it…
All the best Rev. Mugo. Happy New Year.
I know, I do know so well, what you are talking about. We have lived our lives bound in time with the promise of ‘improvement’. That’s if one works hard, is ‘good’, leads a blameless life. In the future, life will be better. I’d better not go on about this now Michael. It is just good to see you hear.