What happens when our utilitarian thinking encounters a practice that leaves everything as it is? Barry Magid March 17th 2018

In the face of suffering our instinctive response is one of self-reproach and then self-improvement. We find fault in ourselves because we're suffering and we create a project that we imagine will eliminate the bad or damaged part of ourselves that has been the source of our suffering. And so we see practice as a means to an end of eliminating that flaw, not seeing that the very solution we propose - the elimination of a flaw - is itself another turning of the wheel of our suffering. But moment after moment, zazen will present the alternative, regardless of what state we come to it in. Like Joshu's bridge, it lets horses cross, it lets asses cross. Anything can sit down in front of the mirror and be reflected.

If you found this talk helpful, consider donating to Ordinary Mind

This talk was brought to you by the generosity of people like you. Ordinary Mind Zendo is a non profit organization that depends entirely on the generosity of people like you for its continued existence. If sitting with us, listening to our talks, or supporting a Zen center in New York City is in line with your values, you can make a donation here.

  • Thumb 6029634021517240282
  • Thumb claire
  • Thumb missing
  • Missing 0791962b14fef9b1fd4b2fdb11269c9dd9032afece8d2774ab62775f5cdcb4e4
  • Thumb image
  • Missing 0791962b14fef9b1fd4b2fdb11269c9dd9032afece8d2774ab62775f5cdcb4e4
  • Missing 0791962b14fef9b1fd4b2fdb11269c9dd9032afece8d2774ab62775f5cdcb4e4
  • Thumb cropped portrait
  • Missing 0791962b14fef9b1fd4b2fdb11269c9dd9032afece8d2774ab62775f5cdcb4e4
  • Missing 0791962b14fef9b1fd4b2fdb11269c9dd9032afece8d2774ab62775f5cdcb4e4
  • Missing 0791962b14fef9b1fd4b2fdb11269c9dd9032afece8d2774ab62775f5cdcb4e4
  • Missing 0791962b14fef9b1fd4b2fdb11269c9dd9032afece8d2774ab62775f5cdcb4e4
  • Missing 0791962b14fef9b1fd4b2fdb11269c9dd9032afece8d2774ab62775f5cdcb4e4
  • Missing 0791962b14fef9b1fd4b2fdb11269c9dd9032afece8d2774ab62775f5cdcb4e4
  • Missing 0791962b14fef9b1fd4b2fdb11269c9dd9032afece8d2774ab62775f5cdcb4e4
  • Missing 0791962b14fef9b1fd4b2fdb11269c9dd9032afece8d2774ab62775f5cdcb4e4
  • Missing 0791962b14fef9b1fd4b2fdb11269c9dd9032afece8d2774ab62775f5cdcb4e4
  • Thumb img 1532
  • Missing 0791962b14fef9b1fd4b2fdb11269c9dd9032afece8d2774ab62775f5cdcb4e4
  • Missing 0791962b14fef9b1fd4b2fdb11269c9dd9032afece8d2774ab62775f5cdcb4e4
  • Missing 0791962b14fef9b1fd4b2fdb11269c9dd9032afece8d2774ab62775f5cdcb4e4
  • Missing 0791962b14fef9b1fd4b2fdb11269c9dd9032afece8d2774ab62775f5cdcb4e4
  • Missing 0791962b14fef9b1fd4b2fdb11269c9dd9032afece8d2774ab62775f5cdcb4e4
  • Missing 0791962b14fef9b1fd4b2fdb11269c9dd9032afece8d2774ab62775f5cdcb4e4
  • Missing 0791962b14fef9b1fd4b2fdb11269c9dd9032afece8d2774ab62775f5cdcb4e4
  • Thumb jpeg bild c11925136b76 1
  • Missing 0791962b14fef9b1fd4b2fdb11269c9dd9032afece8d2774ab62775f5cdcb4e4
  • Missing 0791962b14fef9b1fd4b2fdb11269c9dd9032afece8d2774ab62775f5cdcb4e4
  • Missing 0791962b14fef9b1fd4b2fdb11269c9dd9032afece8d2774ab62775f5cdcb4e4
  • Missing 0791962b14fef9b1fd4b2fdb11269c9dd9032afece8d2774ab62775f5cdcb4e4