Entering Another Country

Entering Another Country

“Bodhidharma was going to an unknown country: ordinary beings who value their body and life could never conceive of such a journey.”

Dogen Zenji, Shobogenzo Gyoji, part 2.

Shinshu’s Commentary:

This quotation, on its face, is about Bodhidharma making a sea voyage from India to China to transmit his Buddhist understanding. It is also an acknowledgement of the difficulties of making the leap from a selfish life to compassionate response.

When we let go of our desires to control and include the other, this can seem like entering another country. We have to set aside our fears, set aside our likes and dislikes. This journey can be difficult and perilous. Who knows what the other person will do? Can we trust them? It can be like stepping off the 100 foot pole and we are afraid. Yet, we go forth, we trust in the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. We place our toe on the edge of the platform. Before the Dharma was transmitted to us, we may not have had this vision, mustered the faith, and taken the leap. Practice takes courage. It’s good to remember that we are doing a difficult thing. Please remember this when facing yourself and facing another. Let us be kind to each other and see each other’s brave effort.

All the best, Shinshu

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