Embodying the Dharma

DSC_9223In Zen we encourage ourselves to embody the dharma. Why?

Actually we don’t have any real choice in the matter. We are either alive, or not. We either 1) chase phantoms of thought and cling to the psychic rollercoaster of delusive passions, or…. 2) we embody the dharma and choose to be here now, and live the super-abundant bounty of present moment reality.

There’s a famous kong-an that asks, simply, “Why are there no other animals in the lion’s den?” The poetic metaphor of a lion is often found in writings from both Indian and Chinese Buddhism. The implication is clear. Believe in yourself 100%. Just do it!

Embodiment has nothing to do with liking or disliking, feeling happy or sad or even neutral. It has everything to do with being alive. To be alive to present moment reality, it then becomes possible to find our fitting function, whether it be to march in Washington, to sooth a child from a terrifying dream, or to ride out an overwhelming mystery of what it means to be a human being.