The Heart of Our Practice
We talk about practicing in our everyday life. There's a great saying: "Zen mind is everyday mind." I know that I haven't been willing to look at my everyday life really seriously, moment to moment, and face the way I behave. That is what our practice is about. The meditation room is one situation, but every moment is most important. It's painful to look at our lives because we can see our reactions, and they may not match our understanding of things and the ideas we have. I noticed when I was a new student that if I was really trying hard—getting up before the wake-up bell, really trying to do mantra, doing all the chants, eating formal meals, working all day, not goofing around at night—when I really tried to do that, my mind was like shit. I could do it, but all this garbage thinking was going on all the time. If I decided one day not to go to work, to just go someplace and read a book I might feel great. But if I looked at my life, I wasn't doing my job. It's very difficult sometimes to just do what you have to do without resentment. If you can do that, you give other people such a tremendous gift: you relieve their suffering automatically. That's the heart of our practice. If we can really do it, really digest the anger, ignorance, and greed that keep us from living our lives without resentment, we will produce tremendous energy.