excerpt of a talk given on May 12, 2019, in Salt Lake City.


I really love this from Gyomay Kubose Sensei. He was talking to a bright you man who said his mother did nothing for him growing up, that she only caused him trouble. I appreciate this insight from my teacher.


In ordinary moral life and modern utilitarian point of view if someone was kind to us then we express our thankfulness. This is to say, if we received some benefit, then we expressed thanks and appreciation. This kind of human relationship is nothing, but business give and take.


 In the world of truth, religion, and love, it is altogether different. In fact, it is the opposite. The starting point is not mother or any external things but ourselves. If we are saved [awakened] now, our whole past will be saved [awakened]. Our Salvation [awakening] goes backward into the past. If we find meaning in our lives now, then the whole world becomes meaningful just as when we are cheerful the whole world is cheerful.


To the abovementioned young man, the problem is not what his mother did that that she is the one who gave him life. His mother and he are not separate in the world with truth, they are one.

This practice of Naikan reflection is a way to awaken in the flow of now.

This practice is a powerful practice especially when combined with the two other questions - what did I give in return and what troubles I did I cause.  It is a powerful way to deconstruct our stories.

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