“Unstained and unconfused, function the same toward all
“Unstained and unconfused, function the same toward all others, since all have the same substance as you. Language cannot transmit this conduct….Leaping beyond the infinite and cutting off the dependent, be obliging without looking for merit. This marvel cannot be measured with consciousness or emotion. On the journey, accept your function. In your house, please sustain it. Comprehending birth and death, leaving causes and conditions, genuinely realize that from the outset your spirit is not halted. So we have been told that the mind that embraces all the ten directions does not stop anywhere.”—Zen Master Hongzhi
I love Hongzhi because of his articulateness and the fact that he precedes Dogen. Here, he is speaking of being unbiased towards others and accepting your current reality freely. Why would you be unbiased? Because everyone else is of the same substance as you. Being obliging without looking for merit is another way of saying “humility.”
In Zen, emotion is neither here nor there. Like everything else, emotions are to be accepted and dealt with efficiently. They are not to be clung to nor made an identity from.
That’s what I love about Zen: its practicality and non-manipulation of people. There is no escapism. Even if you have the most beautiful hallucination of a Buddha floating upon a golden lotus, a roshi will probably tell you “Do not mind it. Sit up straighter. It will go away.” Drama-free is good. Not seeking emotional religious experiences is good. Reality is not always fun to deal with, but to do so is to move forward in life.
This quotation is about equanimity, not having preferences, not being entangled from any direction. This is my ideal, to be able to respond to any and all circumstances in a grounded and peaceful way. I’ve come to understand that becoming emotionally wrapped up in situations is ultimately toxic and vision clouding. The problem is that drama is addictive and, like any addiction, people want you to join them in theirs. Right now, a few people in my life seem intent on creating drama I no longer have the stomach for.
I’m just letting go. I’m tired of the emotional roller coaster. I’m getting off the roller coaster and walking quietly to an emotional zendo.