Leave No Ashes

A redundant post copied from The Unfettered Web blog, but for completeness sake to have the clip and quote here on this dedicated blog as well.

Leave No Ashes (from What to Do about Christmas? 00:15:03.88 - 00:16:36.00)

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when something is experienced completely, good or bad, it’s done, that’s it. Yes?

Student: I have a question [unintelligible]

Ken: All of this is connected with impermanence because we know the passage of time by recalling what we’ve done and that engenders all of these feelings. But as we’ve seen, if you experience things completely in the moment, they tend to leave fewer traces and fewer reverberations or resonances around. So that’s one of the things to take out of this.

In the Zen tradition, Suzuki Roshi says, “Whatever you do, do so completely that there aren’t even any ashes left.” Which is an extraordinary intense way of living. But you see this reflected in the attitude of a lot of athletes, of basketball players or somethings that don’t leave anything on the court. Which is: do it totally.

So I just want you to think for a few moments about what it would be like that everything you do, you do with your total attention. Complete, there’s nothing left. What would life be like that way?