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Chapter 7: Live One Day As a Buddha

Remember that not a single moment will come back again into your hands. That which is gone is gone forever.

Take out the whole juice of every moment. The moment will be gone; but the juice, the experience, the mystery, the fragrance of it will surround you. And every day it will become deeper and deeper, thicker and thicker. A day will come when you will not be afraid to declare that you are a buddha. It will come on its own, spontaneously; a sudden lightning and you will say, “My God - what have I been doing up to now? I am a buddha and this whole universe is my home. As much as I need it, it needs me too.”

We are part of one tremendous mystery.

No matter how skillful we may be, it is impossible to bring back even a single day of the past. No history book says that it is possible.
Why does time deprive us of our training, daily and lifelong? Why has time a grudge against us? It is, unfortunately, because we have ever neglected our practice.
Without looking forward to tomorrow every moment, you must think only of this day and this hour. Because tomorrow is difficult and unfixed, and difficult to know, you must think of following the way while you live today.

In fact, the tomorrow is not certain: it may come, it may not come. Those who know have even said that tomorrow never comes. What comes is always today. So do whatever you want to do this moment. Catch hold of your life source because tomorrow it may be too late. It is already late.

You must concentrate on Zen practice without wasting time, thinking that there is only this day and this hour. After that, it becomes truly easy. You must forget about the good and the bad of your nature, the strength or weakness of your power.

Just accept as you are, and enjoy and relish and sing and dance as you are. Acceptance is a gratitude towards existence. Anything that you don’t accept means you are blaming existence. In all your prayers, and in all your prayer houses, what are you doing? You are asking God, just like a beggar, “Give me this, give me that.” You don’t trust existence, you demand. Demanding is not a quality of religious consciousness. Hence the real religion has no way of praying. It only lives, and lives in such a way that the very life becomes a gratitude.

A haiku by Choshu:

The moon in the water;
broken and broken again,
still it is there.