WAKEFUL (pp 1-25): We had an excellent discussion on many ideas and ways of expressing them here. One thought I had about the middle path between the two ways forward that Sensei talked about in this section and the extremes Buddha experienced as a sheltered prince and later as a wilderness ascetic. Should we seek comfort or should we seek to overcome pain? The answer is: that’s irrelevant, we should seek to know ourself. This is much like ‘before enlightenment chop wood carry water, after enlightenment chop wood carry water.’ Daily life continues before and after we know what and who we are and we stop being attached to what we are not. We are so much more than we think. We’ve often settled on being the cheap dragon; of being a comfort-seeking being. There is more to you than that. Dogen Zenji says: “Please, honored followers of Zen. Long accustomed to groping for the elephant, do not be suspicious of the true dragon.”

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