The Melbourne Zen Group is based in Brunswick East, Melbourne, Australia. Our weekly meditation meetings are open to both members and non-members.
Autumn Zazenkai – 3 to 5 February 2023
with Susan Murphy Roshi & Kirk Fisher Sensei
Let Naturalness Carry You
What if nothing is withheld? In the natural world, the bright path the ancestors walked is always right in front of you – in front of all your senses, latent in your consciousness.
On this warm run of early Autumn days, let’s look into how naturalness carries us into the heart of practice. Practice asks us to hold ourselves towards the mind awake, while saying don’t strain for it – for that would be a subtle act of separation, an insult to its complete readiness to ‘take you back’.
Zhaozhou was asked by an earnest monk, ‘What about it when I seek to become Buddha?’ He replied, ‘What a tremendous waste of energy!’ The monk then asked, ‘What about it when I’m not wasting any energy?’
‘In that case, you are Buddha’, said Zhaozhou.
The mystery of it is that what we so earnestly seek is entirely what we have ever been – but have left strangely untouched, unseen, unalive, unawake, blocked (by what, or who?) from awareness. Wumen’s memorable verse to Case 19 of the Gateless Barrier, ‘Ordinary mind is the Dao’, offers a clue to resuming this most natural mind:
Spring comes with flowers, autumn with the moon,
Summer with breeze, winter with snow.
When useless things don’t stick in your mind,
That is your best season.
To study Zen is to realize the true depth of this ‘ordinary’ mind – and then to walk it into the world, to be of some help. Please join us – in practising letting naturalness carry us into the heart of the great matter of Zen.