About this talk: 

Speaker: Roshi Susan Murphy
Date: 26 June 2016
Event: Zen Open Circle Zazenkai
Location: Sydney, Australia
More information: www.zenopencircle.org.au

Dharma talk and discussion on the precepts.

Roshi Susan:
“The impulse and the value and the gift of the precepts arises out of this: ‘You are welcome here’…together with all the many beings.

Each of the precepts addresses our fundamental responsibility to that space where we meet the other and dissolve self and other, in the presence of the other… other being, other person, other 8 billion others, human beings, on the Earth and our sense of responsibility, not just to human beings, but to all the beings.

The ethos of the buddha way, the ethics, is very deeply natural. It is naturalness itself… to recognise to realise to make real this fundamental fact of no-self and no-other…

This realisation arises in the presence of each other. We bring it into being together. A most mysterious thing happens when two people are face-to-face or even side-by-side, but sharing the space together – something flows between us.

The no self that is your most open response to what is happening is entirely received by and mysteriously interacts with the no-other of the other… we call this compassion. But compassion side steps the fact that this is a practiced interweaving, a giving away of the self. Thomas Merton, a great catholic zen person, spoke of this as ‘self donation’. The whole ethos of our becoming more aware, is that we want to give this very self – donate it – make it dana. And truly, all of the precepts arise from this sense of there being one precious body here – one body.

Everything that is beautiful about human beings flows through this, even dim recognition, that all that we have hear is one body, and that everything moves together.

The contorted sense we have, of an individual insulated, needing to prove something, carved out from the wholeness of this one body, is really the source of almost all of our suffering and delusion – and all of its consequences.

A fundamental way of calling it is ‘me in here you out there’… That dissolves quite naturally in zazen. Zane dissolves it. Thats the beautiful offer of zazen.

We share one breath, one body… everything that lives and breathes, moves together.”


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