“We have to realize that to practice the precepts is to practice them when things are coming apart. We have to realize that it’s possible to turn things around. It’s possible to manifest understanding where there is only hate or fear. It’s possible to manifest love where there is only anger, resentment and hopelessness. These precepts are not something that comes out of the clouds. We don’t have a legend like the Ten Commandments appearing on the mountain. The precepts came out of the lives of men and women who, for 2,500 years, have practiced the Way.
“Therein lies the truth of our lives: everything just as it is, sweet or bitter, is our life. Perfect, complete, lacking nothing—the life of a buddha. When we turn our life from that, when we run away from that, it never comes alive. So we should ask, am I willing to work with anger, conflict, pain and suffering? Not only my own, but that of others. ” John Daido Loori Are You Willing To Enter The Fray?
There is no perfection in Buddhism, just like-minded people learning how to practice for the past 2,500 years. There is no divine authority, just tried-and-true methods of learning to live in harmony with all things. Guilt is just another emotion to deal with. That is the suchness of it all. “Just this.”
I wish I were perfect, always saying the exact right thing at the exact right time. It’s easy to forget that I still have issues, too. I work on myself every day. Zazen is simply the backward step into the primordial silence. “Take the backward step and shine the light inward,” said Dogen. Good advice for all.