Nicolae Tanase: Master Taigen, what is the meaning of life?
Taigen Dan Leighton: The meaning of life is exactly the sustained inquiry into the meaning of life. This involves awakening to our omnipresent capacity for insight and kindness, and the natural wholeness we each express in our own particular situations. This awareness calls to be expressed in our everyday activity, to support and encourage all beings to also express awareness, and further spread our caring so as to relieve suffering and foster awakening.
Such activity requires active, responsive patience. When we pay attention patiently we can give our best efforts to respond helpfully rather than harmfully to the problems of the world and our own lives.
Helpful responsiveness arrives not from our patterns of reactivity from our habitual, comfortable stories about ourselves and the world, but from patient joyful communion with that which goes beyond. Change happens, kindness is possible.
~Rev. Taigen Dan Leighton is a Soto Zen Buddhist teacher and priest, scholar, and author. He is Guiding Teacher of Ancient Dragon Zen Gate in Chicago
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