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What my practice is for me

Recently Sensei asked the group at a Thursday evening sitting in Liverpool: “What would a fulfilled life look like?”.  He addressed this again yesterday evening (Weds 11 Feb) and his talk will be posted shortly.  Here is Keizan Sensei’s own response to this question:

“I thought it would be useful for me to try and summarise the essentials of my own practice.  Of course in doing so I have to take a particular perspective which is necessarily partial so it’s not a complete view and from your perspective it may have some important gaps!
 
The essence of my own interest is how to apply the basics of traditional Zen practice to all the areas of my daily life and to leading StoneWater Zen Sangha.  Intrinsic to this is the experience that my own essential nature or ground of being is already whole and complete.  Coupled with that is also the awareness that holding a view about my life and how it should be (it should be different, I should not be angry, lonely, confused, happy etc.) misses the point and if I hold onto it my practice and life will become stuck and dry.
 
My own experience (it’s taken a long time to sink in!) is that we can only really know our own lives when we allow ourselves to be present to how they really are rather than dreaming of how they might be. This is being present on a moment to moment basis. Zazen – sitting upright, allowing yourself to be breathed and the cultivation of awareness together with  allowing our delusions to be – is, within our tradition, the vehicle for being this way.
 
It sounds simple but to fully embrace our lives, rather than thinking we should be different or better than who we are or that our lives should be different, is a life long journey.  None of this by the way negates the usefulness of change or the possible benefits of a new direction.
 
Finally, I see my personal job is to unpick the various layers of who I think I am to finally arrive at who I really am.
 
Good luck on your own path.  I look forward to seeing you at Crosby if you can be there.”
Keizan Sensei