Sunday, 28 March 2010

You can’t practice all by yourself

Each of you - not separately, but in the cauldron with all beings, cooking and being cooked—is realizing awakening. Not you by yourself, because that is not who you really are. You by yourself are not Buddha-Nature; but your being in the cauldron of all beings is realizing the Buddha-Way. This is the total exertion of your life.

You also can’t really be flexible and free of fixed views by yourself. To decide for yourself what flexibility is is a kind of rigidity. Living in harmony with all beings is flexibility. It is a kind of cosmic democracy. each of us has a role in the situation and gets one vote. You cast your vote by being here like a great unmoving mountain. Please cast your vote completely: that is your job. Then listen to all other beings, especially foreigners, especially strangers, and especially enemies.

Hang out with people who are capable of making a commitment to you and your life, and who require that you make a commitment to theirs. Hang out with people who care about you, with people who need you to develop and who say so. Make such a commitment and don’t break that bond until you and all beings are perfect.

You can’t make the Buddha-Body without a cauldron, and you can’t make a cauldron by yourself. You can’t practice all by yourself: that is delusion. Everything coming forward and confirming you is awakening. Then you are really cooking.

- from
In It Together an article on by Reb Anderson Roshi extracted from his book Warm Smiles from Cold Mountains.


I feel such warmth and humility radiates from Reb Anderson Roshi's writings despite not having met him or attended any of his retreats. The full article is well worth reading and absorbing, especially for those of us who primarily practice all by ourself as it sometimes can seem.

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