Are you all doing fine?
Unmon Daishi asked his students: “Do not speak about the days before the 15th, but say something about the days after the 15th.” There were different answers, yet Unmon Daishi was not satisfied by them. So he was asked to please let everyone know his answer so that they may learn from his wisdom. Unmon then said those famous words: “Every day is a good day.” You know this story well, you know the essence well. There is no need to explain these words.
In this world now we have the problem with the corona virus, which for sure will come to an end. Then if you simply feel relieved that this difficult time is over and relax, for what then was this experience for?
The economy, politics – all are only going on about this situation affected by the virus. The weight is felt as heavy.
Zen students do not look at that, but how to live after the pandemic is over, how can we support other, how can we guide others? We need to look at this or else this experience is wasted.
During difficult times we take this chance and use it to awaken. To polish our wisdom.
This kind of situation does not come around often. No one has wished for it, yet since it has appeared, how can we give life to it? That is the eye of zen.
Unmon Daishi asked: “ I will not ask you about before the 15th, about that which has passed. But from now, how is your state of mind? How can you face this reality?” We cannot be moved around by this situation, but we need to know how we can change our focus onto something wider. Or else we do zazen and cannot give life to it, as if we are practicing a dead form of zazen. This does not help us.
Please look carefully at the chance we have received, please dig deeper to that place which you have not been able to reach before. Take this time now as being most important. Living with restrictions put on us, this now is the chance to deepen our essence. Having had too many responsibilities and now being freed from them, we have the chance to dive deeper. Now we can awaken, we need to make efforts.
Right now there are 25 people in Sogenji. Day by day the essence is getting sharper, especially those beginners are putting their life on the line. So that they may awaken to their true mind, may you all awaken to that true mind, to realize this, we have been born. This is our value, our true worth, please everyone use your energy and dig deep into that place which you always wanted to reach. This is my great wish.