Q. What is the use of Zen to the poor who are hungry?
A. Thinking in that way is seeing Zen practice as separate from our lives and regarding Zen as something special that only people with decent income can practise. Don’t think that Zen practice is available only when we can sit in a quiet place. People who neglect their work in excuse of Zen practice, when there is work to be done, are those who don’t know how to practise Zen. Doing our best to make enough money to support our family can be good practice as well. We should know that there are no actions that can’t be practice.
Keeping curiosity about what is making your body work while working is Zen practice. Asking yourself what is driving your body to act in the way it does when you help those in need is no other than Zen practice. Helping those in trouble while trying to see them as one with yourself is Zen practice. The best practice is to make your practice one with your life.
Student: “What dharma talk would you give if a hungry person comes to you for a dharma talk?”
Master: “I’d serve him food.”
Student: “Why do you give him food when he wants a dharma talk?”
Master: “I hope that he will look upon my serving food as a dharma talk and his eating as practice.”
All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway
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