In the modern world, we are encouraged to be special, to be different and stand out from everyone else. Zen Buddhism has a different approach, encouraging us instead to be "nothing special". Daido Roshi declares that our lives are fine exactly the way they are; Zen is not about adding anything to our lives, it's about seeing the inherent perfection we already possess. Zen practice is a process of getting to that perfection, a means of uncovering the layers of conditioning, from families, schools, the media, that prevent us from seeing who we really are. But once we understand our true nature, we don't need to hide in a monastery or become a hermit. Zen is not about separating ourselves from the world around us, Zen is about manifesting compassion in our everyday lives, whether we are talking to our boss, planting a garden, or raising a child. The more we open up to our true nature and experience life with moment-to-moment awareness, the more we see that being ordinary is something truly extraordinary.
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