Excavating the Moment
“I see your heart. Why should there be even a moment of fear? This practice is the basis for the exhortation that each one of us has to surpass our teachers, surpass our ancestors. We do it by abiding in this dharma state completely, by taking responsibility, respecting what has been offered, and using it exhaustively. We exhaustively practice intimacy with what is available to us in every moment.”
Posted on April 6, 2013
Dharma Discourse by Konrad Ryushin Marchaj, Sensei
I like the word “exhaustively” because it says everything. It’s like drinking life to the dregs. No leftovers or excess. There is no way to avoid using resources. We must eat, bathe, use toner if we have an office job, etc. But we can make sure we are wasting as little as possible. This is part of the “reduce” and “reuse” aspects of “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.”
But how do “we exhaustively practice intimacy with what is available to us in every moment”? This about being deeply where we are, not fantasizing about being elsewhere. (That is hard for me.) I think of it as excavating the moment.
Respecting what has been offered helps us to be good guests wherever we may be. Unless you own where you are right now, you are a guest. You are representing someone else as part of their group: family of origin, in-laws, your alma mater, whites, blacks, employees, men, women, Gen X, whatever. You never just represent yourself. To be gracious is to be a good example of the groups you belong to. If someone offers something in good faith, accept it in the spirit offered. Rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn.
I guess the point of all of this is simple: it’s never just about you. We are all part of a bigger picture. What part do you want to play?