In mid-December we had the funeral ceremony for Daido Roshi: a series of services, an arts tribute, a banquet, and an opportunity for hundreds of people—students, teachers, and friends—to come together to express their appreciation for Daido Roshi’s teachings. A “big event,” involving much preparation and coordination. It was intense and challenging on many levels, with grief and emotional release mixing with the need to care for many technical details. It involved balancing logistics and feeling, so that the event could welcome everybody in every possible state of mind and heart. It was a challenge that we hadn’t faced up to this point. Yet, the ceremony felt utterly ordinary. The sangha treasure manifested its harmony and love. There was plenty of evidence of a subtle maturity, and an appreciation for how the path is just opening up. There was a palpable sense that we do know what it means to practice, what it means to be a religious and spiritual person. The ancient buddhas were present.
From the vantage point of practice, there is no difference between taking care of a tiny detail or finding oneself in the midst of a maelstrom. When we rest within practice, there is spaciousness and limitlessness of possibilities, and the space is opened up to others. All beings can walk in and walk out in freedom, and they can discover something about themselves that was not possible to see before they arrived. The heart of your practice is their welcome. This isn’t a con- gratulatory statement. As Buddhist practitioners, this is the only thing there is, this is what we commit to, this is what it means to “ride the clouds and follow the wind,” to give free play, to allow ourselves to rest in our dharma state.
During the ceremony and throughout the time in which we put it together, there was a sense of effortlessness noted by the many people involved. Even when things were challenging, there was a capacity to work together. Planning and tight scheduling did not conflict with spontaneity and improvisation. How different is that from anything else? Logic and feeling can interfuse smoothly all the time. The heart and the intellect can inform each other. Everything can collapse into an all- encompassing passion for this life, and its seamlessness. This is what happens when we are practicing. When practice begins to penetrate into every pore of our lives, life unfolds. This is what harmony feels like—it is no longer felt.