a quote for discussion and thought from sensei

May 19, 2009

From Sensei: "The following is a quote from Taisen Deshimaru, a Zen Master. Please read and discuss." "Sometimes people ask why I bow in front of the statue of the Buddha in the dojo. I am not bowing to a piece of wood, I am bowing to everyone there with me in the dojo, and to the whole cosmos as well. All these gestures are extremely important because they help us to acquire correct behavior. They develop dignity and respect, they help to create a normal condition in us. Nobody today is normal, everybody is a little bit crazy or unbalanced, people's minds are running all the time. Their perceptions of the world are partial, incomplete. They are eaten alive by their egos. They think they see, but they are mistaken; all they do is project their madness, their world, upon the world. There is no clarity, no wisdom in that! That is why Socrates, like the Buddha, like every wise man ever, began his teaching with "Know thyself, and thou shalt know the universe." That is the spirit of traditional Zen and Bushido; and in studying that spirit, it is very important to observe one's behavior. Behavior influences consciousness. Right behavior means right consciousness. Our attitude here and now influences the entire environment; our words, actions, ways of holding and moving ourselves, they all influence what happens around us and inside us. The actions of every instant, every day, must be right. Our behavior in the dojo will help to condition our everyday life." -Taisen Deshimaru

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