In the third week’s teaching of Roshi Pat Enkyo O’Hara’s retreat, “To Be Awakened,” she addresses the third slogan of Zen Master Dogen from the Genjokoan: To forget the self is be enlightened by the myriad things.

“Every thing is an opportunity to wake up,” says Enkyo Roshi, “but we have to be open to it, and recognize it.” We often come to think of enlightenment as an abstract, idealized state. But actually, enlightenment often lies in the most mundane moments and experiences. Or as Enkyo Roshi puts it, “We are looking so hard for something that we don’t recognize that it’s right here.” By sitting, quieting our mind, and becoming intimate with ourselves, she reminds us, we can connect to the wholeness and security of the universe.

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