When the disciple asks the master:

– How could you describe Zen practice in a few words?

The master replies:

– Careful!

– Please, explain a little better!

– Careful!

– Couldn’t you say a little more?

– Careful!

Here and now, be careful with your posture, be careful with your breathing, be careful with your state of mind, be careful with the way you behave in everyday life, be careful with the way you speak to others. Be careful with the way you understand the practice.

Somebody put this writing in his office: “Greatness of mind is to see that there is no obstacle.” This sentence can be misunderstood. Greatness of mind is to see that objectively, there is no obstacle. This only obstacle is our mind, our behaviour, our speech, our practice.

Objectively, there is no obstacle; the obstacle comes only from the way we look at people, situations, ourselves. The obstacle comes only from our karma. There are only subjective obstacles: the way we see ourselves, the way we see others, the way we see the world, the way we see the practice.

So, please, take the practice of the Way seriously, don’t revel in wrong understandings.

During zazen, we are careful to sit upright, to breathe freely, deeply, totally, we are careful not to follow our thoughts, we are careful not to fall asleep. If we are careful, we see thoughts arise and we remain in the unity of body and mind by letting the thought disappear on its own.

Some people show in their behaviour that they never practice and this makes them very arrogant, very unfair. They have a very high opinion of themselves and can never receive any criticism without feeling humiliated.

Be careful, very careful and again careful.

Reality is perfect, all you have to do is not sully it with your own mind.

This is Buddha’s teaching.

Taiun JP Faure, June 2023

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