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Zen: Simply Sitting: A Zen Monk's Commentary on the Fukanzazengi Universal Guide on the Correct Practice of Zazen Paperback – November 22, 2006

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About the Author

Philippe Coupey, a monk and master, is an American who has lived in Paris for three decades. Educated at the Sorbonne, he is a writer and a disciple of the Japanese Master, Taisen Deshimaru, who brought Zen to Europe. Coupey directs a large European community of monks and nuns and is a member and officer of the International Zen Association.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

"If there is a separation, be it ever so small, the Way is as far away as the sky is from the earth." "Dogen This sentence isn’t hard to understand. If so much as a hair’s breadth of difference appears, then what you are no longer coincides with the ego, you yourself are no longer Buddha. The relationship between Buddha and yourself is non-dual. There are not two but one. There’s not even one, in fact. First the duality of Buddha and our little self disappears, then even that unit disappears. No more subject. No more object. Sensei Deshimaru calls that true faith. But some people, in their practice, create more and more distance between themselves and Buddha. It starts off with a wee small difference, no real shoshin ["beginner’s mind"] at the start. Then, later, Buddha and I are a thousand miles apart. And there you are, you’ve created subject and object. That doesn’t mean "despite what you might hear in the Christian religion or even in some Buddhist circles "that you have to get rid of your ego." My master used to say, "I’ve got a super giant ego! An ego as big as the cosmos!" In other words, no more subject and object. It’s the same thing when the Buddha says, "When I got satori [enlightenment] all beings got satori." What you need is a vast mind. You shouldn’t put it in a straightjacket and make it small by beating it over the head with endless prohibitions. Ordination for us implies no prohibitions. I once told that to some French Tibetan Buddhists. They were downright shocked. How could I possible say such nonsense! But it’s true, nothing is forbidden. A real religious ordination carries with it no rules or prohibitions because it is nothing other than the transformation of your karma. Look within yourself and be neither for not against. The mind is not divided. That’s what is important.

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