Zen Master Seung Sahn used to say that there are two kinds of work. Inside work and outside work. Inside work means keeping a non-moving mind and outside work means helping all beings.
Being concerned only about inside work is not correct Zen practice. Only inside work means nirvana and peace of mind only for me. Including outside work into our individual practice means living with a direction for others and not only for me. How can we share with others?
Zen Master Wu Bong
Such beautiful teaching. It’s the same in all the traditions. In the story of the Good Samaritan the lawyer says to Jesus:
“What is the path to eternal life?”
Jesus asks, “What do you understand it to be?” (Meaning, “what do you understand it to be in Talmudic law?”)
The lawyer says, “Love the Lord your God with all your body, all your heart and all your soul; Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Love the Lord your God, to me, is to keep an unmoving mind. It means staying in not knowing and the mystery and allowing yourself to be completely open to what is, regardless of your opinions.
But inside work is not enough, according to the teaching. Loving God is not enough. We must do our outside work–love our neighbors as ourselves.
Then the lawyer says, but who counts as a neighbor?
But he is a dumbass. LOL. You and I are much smarter. We know that whomever we have the power to help is our neighbor!!!
We all grapple to figure out how to live but we already know. It’s inside us. We just have to do it (me too!!). xoxo
PS If you know how this teaching is told in the other traditions, I’d love to hear in the comments. In the yoga tradition? In Islam? In the Hindu tradition, etc?