" Well, I need a teacher who can free me from my suffering. I'm hurting and I don't understand.
I need someone who can tell me what to do, don't I?"
No ! You may need a guide, you may need it made clear how to practice with your life -
what is needed is a guide who will make it clear to you that the authority in your life, your
true teacher, is you - and we practice to realize this 'you.'
There is only one teacher. What is that teacher? Life itself. And of course each one
of us is a manifestation of life; we couldn't be anything else. Now life happens to be both
a severe and an endlessly kind teacher. It's the only authority that you need to trust.
And this teacher, this authority, is everywhere. You don't have to go to some special
place to find this incomparable teacher, you don't have to have some especially quiet
quiet or ideal situation: in fact, the messier it is, the better. The average office is a great
place. The average home is perfect. Such places are pretty messy most of the time -
we all know from firsthand experience! That is where the authority is, the teacher is.
This is a very radical teaching, not for everyone. People often turn away from such a
Our life is always here! But since my or your life may look like discomfort, even
dreariness, loneliness, depression, if I actually were to face that (life as it is), who would
want that? Almost no one. But when I can begin to experience this very moment, the
true teacher - when I can honestly BE each moment of my life, what I think, feel -
this experiencing will settle itself into 'just this,' the joyful samadhi of life, the word of
God. And that is Zen practice, and we don't even have to use the word 'Zen.'
If we understand that each moment of our life is the teacher, we can't avoid doing that.
If we truly ARE each moment of our life ther is no room for an outside influence or authority.
Where could it be? When I am just my own suffering where is the authority? The attention,
the experiencing IS the authority, and it is also the clarification of the action to be done.
~*~ An excerpt taken from the book - EVERYDAY ZEN - Charlette Beck ~*~