Each Moment Is the Universe: Zen and the Way of Being Time [NOOK Book]

Overview








It’s easy to
regard time as a commodity—we even speak of “saving” or “spending” it. We often
regard it as an enemy, when we feel it slipping away before we’re ready for
time to be up. The Zen view of time is radically different ...

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Each Moment Is the Universe: Zen and the Way of Being Time

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Overview








It’s easy to
regard time as a commodity—we even speak of “saving” or “spending” it. We often
regard it as an enemy, when we feel it slipping away before we’re ready for
time to be up. The Zen view of time is radically different than that: time is
not something separate from our life; rather, our life is time. Understand this, says Dainin Katagiri Roshi, and you can live fully and freely right where
you are in each moment.





Katagiri bases
his teaching on Being Time, a text by
the most famous of all Zen masters, Eihei Dogen (1200–1253), to show that time is a creative, dynamic process
that continuously produces the universe and everything in it—and that to
understand this is to discover a gateway to freedom from the dissatisfactions
of everyday life. He guides us in contemplating impermanence, the
present moment, and the ungraspable nature of past and future. He discusses
time as part of our inner being, made manifest through constant change in
ourselves and our surroundings. And
these ideas are by no means metaphysical abstractions: they can be directly
perceived by any of us through meditation.

To learn more about the author, visit his website: mnzencenter.org


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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Move over, Martin Heidegger. The late Japanese Zen master Katagiri Roshi offers a Zen interpretation of being and time. As text editor Andrea Martin explains in her introduction, the core Buddhist teachings of impermanence and emptiness lend themselves to considerations of time and being. Zen may be anticoncept and nonabstract, but it is certainly pro-insight. So Katagiri explains his understanding of time, based squarely on his interpretation of the work of influential 13th-century Zen master Dogen, whose work has inspired a number of contemporary Zen teachers. But Katagiri is no academic, and the language he uses to express complex ideas is extremely simple ("this is called going into mud and water") and often enthusiastic ("Touch it and bounce!"). The editor has successfully transmitted the oral style that helps make the content accessible. Katagiri conveys a zest for Zen understanding that differs from the calm inscrutability of other Zen Buddhists; he also brings up terms like hope and beauty. Katagiri's statement "I think the purpose of spiritual life is to just go toward the future with great hope" may sound metaphysical, but it comes from a teacher who has spent time on the meditation cushion and applied insight to the day-to-day life that Zen embraces. (July 10)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780834822108
  • Publisher: Shambhala Publications, Inc.
  • Publication date: 7/20/2011
  • Series: Shambhala Publications
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Born in Osaka, Japan, in 1928, Dainin Katagiri was trained traditionally as a Zen teacher. He first came to the United States in 1963, to help with a Soto Zen Temple in Los Angeles. He later joined Shunryu Suzuki Roshi at the San Francisco Zen Center and taught there until Suzuki Roshi’s death in 1971. He was then invited to form a new Zen center in Minneapolis, which, in addition to a monastery in the countryside of Minnesota, he oversaw until his death in 1990. He left behind a legacy of recorded teachings and twelve Dharma heirs. Katagiri is the author of several books, including Returning to Silence and You Have to Say Something.

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Read an Excerpt




From Chapter 2: The Search for Meaning and Security

Buddhism
teaches us to face the truth of impermanence and to accept the fact
that life consists of moments that appear and disappear at superspeed.
But it’s not so easy to do this. We want to believe in the continuity
of our lives so that we can say, “Yes, I exist!” So instead of looking
directly at time itself, we try to escape the cruel fact that
impermanence constantly cuts off our lives. Unconsciously, our minds
decorate time with many ornaments in order to make our lives more
secure and meaningful.

Using his own life as an example of this, in the Tenzokyokun
(Instructions to the Cook), Dogen Zenji tells how, as a young monk
traveling in China, he once encountered an old priest serving in the
office of tenzo, or head cook. Dogen felt the tenzo was
working too hard for a person of his age, so he asked him, “Reverend
sir, why don’t you do zazen or read the koans of ancient persons? What
is the use of working so hard as a tenzo priest?” These
questions come from Dogen’s sensing the unbearable gap between his mind
and time, and wanting relief. They show that the young Dogen does not
know how to just be present and live comfortably in the transient
stream of time. Instead, he is trying to make his monk’s life
meaningful.

If you become a monk, you ask: What is the purpose of
monks? If you become a human being, you ask: What is the purpose of
human beings? But no matter how long you try to follow a meaningful
purpose in life, impermanence always cuts it off. When you realize
this, you really wonder: Why do we have to live with effort? Why don’t
we just live as we like?

Dogen was looking for meaning when he
went to China to find an answer to the question: If we are already
buddhas, why is it that we have to do spiritual practice? That is
really Dogen’s question when he asks, “What is the use of working so
hard as a tenzo priest?” He thinks the old man should forget about
daily living and just do zazen or study the writings of the patriarchs.
But Dogen is just creating ornaments.

Since human beings have
been born in this world, we have decorated our lives with lots of
ornaments in order to make time more meaningful. We develop remarkable
civilizations of culture, politics, beauty, and pleasure. We create
intellectual disciplines such as history, economics, science,
philosophy, or psychology, and then we believe that they make life
meaningful.

Maybe we believe that a spiritual life can help us
find meaning. So we create ideas such as God, Buddha, universal energy,
the last judgment and paradise after death, theology, mythology, or
morality and ethics, and then we try to depend on them to make us feel
that life is worth living. Century after century we have done this,
trying to find real spiritual security through making time meaningful.
But still there is no solution, because they are all just ornaments. We
still ask: How can you make human life meaningful? What is spiritual
security?

We believe that we can make time meaningful, because we
usually suppose that time is running on a road from here to there,
toward a certain destination, from 12:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. We believe
there is a stream of time that flows continuously from the past through
the present to the future, so we say that there is one beginning and
one end to this world. Then we think that time goes from a beginning to
an end with a particular purpose, and we expect that we can make
progress and feel satisfied as a result. But if you are seeking to know
time in its naked nature, you cannot believe this because time is not a
succession of constantly connected moments going toward a certain
destination; in the transient stream of time, moments appear and
disappear. Impermanence constantly cuts off your life, so every moment
is separate.

I don’t want to reject ornaments. There’s nothing
wrong with science, culture, and religion. Ornaments are important.
Without ornaments you cannot exist. But if you take those concepts and
ideas away, what’s left? Just the transient stream of time! No matter
how long you try to make your life meaningful, you cannot find a way to
do it unless you face the original nature of time. So before you use
ornaments, make those ornaments more meaningful by seeing deeply into
human life based on time. Be present, from moment to moment, right in
the middle of the real stream of time. That gives you spiritual
security. That is why in Buddhism we don’t try to escape from
impermanence; we face time itself in our daily living.

Dogen went
to China to study Zen Buddhism in order to enhance his life: to
accomplish the main purpose of his life as a Zen monk and to make his
life meaningful. Those are wonderful ornaments, but this is not the
total, overall picture of human life. There is still something you
cannot find that way because there are many things that cannot be made
into ornaments. That is why the old monk said to Dogen, “Good
foreigner, you seem to be ignorant of the true training and character
of Buddhism.” In other words, you don’t know the real meaning of
Buddhist practice or the real character of Buddhist scriptures. This
gave Dogen a really big shock.

Later that year, the tenzo visited Dogen, and Dogen asked him, “What are words?” The tenzo
said, “One, two, three, four, five.” This answer indicates decorating
life with ornaments in order to make it meaningful, instead of facing
the real nature of time, where there are no concepts, no ideas, nothing
to say. The tenzo is telling Dogen: Look at how you decorate
daily living with lots of ornaments! Then Dogen asked, “What is
practice?” The old monk said, “Nothing is closed in the universe.”
Saying that nothing is closed in the universe leads you to touch the
core of your life, which is always present before you try to bring any
concept or idea into it. It is saying: Do zazen! Dogen was really
impressed by the old monk’s answers and wrote, “I owe it entirely to
him that I could, to some extent, grasp the true meaning of the
character and discipline of Buddhism.”

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Table of Contents




Editor's Preface vii
Acknowledgments xi

Part One: The Cosmic World of a Moment 1
1. The Naked Nature of Time 3
2. The Search for Meaning and Security 6
3. Taking Care of Expectation 13
4. Making Your Life Vividly Alive 18
5. Right Seeing of Buddha 27
6. The Root of the Buddha Way 32

Part Two: Profound Human Desire 37
7. Seeking Satisfaction with Constant Change 40
8. Fundamental Suffering as Truth 47
9. Touching the Present Moment 52
10. Passage to Freedom 57
11. A Deep Sense of Human Value 63

Part Three: Timeless Freedom 69
12. Time, Space, and Being 72
13. The Pivot of Nothingness 76
14. Real Time and Daily Life 80
15. Commentary on an Excerpt from Dogen's "Being-Time" 83
16. Total Dynamic Working 105
17. Delusion and Suffering 109
18. Practice and Enlightenment 113
19. Living in Real Time 117

Part Four: The Practice of Creative Action 125
20. Best Time, Best Place, Best Person 128
21. The Flow of the Rhythm of Life 131
22. Changing the Structure of Time and Space 136
23. Commentary on an Excerpt from Dogen's "Zazenshin" 140
24. How to Make Your Life Mature 159
25. The Circle of Nirvana 166
26. The True Meaning of Effort 169

Part Five: Creating the Future 173
27. What Is Karma? 175
28. The Law of Causation 178
29. Individual and Not-individual Karma 182
30. Manifested and Unmanifested Karma 186
31. Karma and Causation 191
32. Turning a New Leaf 200
33. Freedom from Causation 207
34. Eternal Possibility 213
35. Living with Great Hope 217
36. Finding Time in Buddha's Dharma 224

Selected Bibliography 233
Index 235
About the Author 241

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2012

    If you are looking for the universal truth, this is a must read!

    Being raised as a buddhist practicing and studying Hawaiian Shamanism, there are many spiritual philosophies and religions are very much a like at core. The "now" and "here" is well explained from different angle from what I have previously introduced.

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