Q. Is it okay to neglect hard work and taking care of my family so that I can concentrate on my practice?
A. No, it’s wrong. Don’t separate practice from daily life. Working hard and taking good care of your family is not different from practising well. Don’t think that Zen meditation is to try to attain something special that is not from our daily life. Practising Zen is trying to see your family members as they are, and enlightenment is to realise how holy and perfect they are as oneness with you.
You should think of them as your masters or comrades who help you to practise well. When they seem to cause an inhospitable atmosphere for your practice, you should think that they are checking how deep your practice is or how well you are practising. When you are upset, trying to see the root of your anger or where it comes from is Zen practice. Whatever the situation is like, a dead body doesn’t care; not angry and not happy. What is it that makes your body get angry or happy?
All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway
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