What keeps coming to me over and over again is that you have to find your awakening in your ordinary life, such as it is, because if you don’t find it there, you’re not going to find it anywhere else; not on retreat, or in a course, or in a monastery, or with a guru, or anywhere else. You have everything you need to wake up right now; you lack absolutely nothing. There is no need to go somewhere to get something else. You already possess everything you need to fully awaken right now. I am ready and determined to find my own awakening in my own life, such as it is. What I have to do is pay close attention (i.e. mindfulness) to everything that is happening in my life, such as it is, right now, so that I can discover all the lessons that lead to awakening. This is the key to my path to awakening in my life.
by the Editor, Shaun Bartone
I posted this a few days ago from an entry in my journal, a meditation that came to me over several days which kept repeating, telling me it might be significant for me. And then I heard this podcast by Roshi Joan Halifax, in which she gives a teaching on exactly the same concept, that your ordinary life is the path to awakening. Her teaching is based on a teaching by 13th century Zen Master Dogen, who taught the very same thing. I don’t think it’s anything special that a new practitioner such as myself could arrive at the same teaching as these accomplished masters, because I think the teaching is inherent in the practice itself. Socially engaged Buddhism, or just Buddhism, is worked out in the path which is your ordinary life, and no where else. It is my life as the path which led me to this teaching, which confirms what I have said, that your own life is the path to awakening. Think about it logically—all you have is your life; what else could it be? what else is there?