Then there is beneficial action: "Beneficial action is skillfully to benefit all classes of sentient beings. That is, to care about their distant and near future and to help them by using skillful means." Beneficial action is an act of oneness, of identity—benefitting self and other together. They check each other. Dogen makes sure that we don't close either of our eyes. That's Tzu Fu's circle that contains everything. That's the earth and how it supports us and itself.

Walt Whitman writes, "The earth does not withhold. It is generous enough. The truths of the earth continually wait. They are not so concealed either. They are calm, subtle and transmissible by print. They're imbued through all things, conveying themselves willingly. The earth does not argue. It is not pathetic, has no arrangements. Does not scream, haste, persuade, threaten, promise. It makes no discriminations, has no conceivable failures. Closes nothing, refuses nothing, shuts none out. Of all the powers, objects, states it notifies, it shuts none out." That's not just earth. That is you and me and our infinite capacity for caring and taking care.

To what degree can we return that to the earth? Only to the degree to which we can offer that wholeness to ourselves at this moment. It begins with the trust that such a view is possible, and necessary. And it continues by noting that there is a living reality embracing that truth. It is the reality of the practice of intimacy.

What is it to see and live without ignoring at all, shutting nothing out? How is it
to see this whole world as it is—unfiltered? First, see the filters. See the nature of your ignorance. Realize intimacy with that ignorance—that thought, that discrimination, that attachment. What is ignorance made of? Realize the life of the unconcerned travelers who do not want to jump out of the trap because they know they are already free. Free within this practice. Free of ignorance, within ignorance. Do you want to jump out?

Where do you want to go, given that you are completely welcomed here?


The Blue Cliff Record or Hekiganroku is a collection of one hundred koans originally compiled in China by Zen Master Xuedou during the Song dynasty (960–1279 C.E.) and later commented on by Zen Master Yuan Wu.