calmness and activity are not different


Dogen Zen-ji says,

“Even though it is midnight, dawn is here.

Even though dawn comes, it is nighttime.” This kind

of statement conveys the understanding transmitted from

Buddha to the Patriarchs, and from the Patriarchs to Dogen,

and to us. Nighttime and daytime are not different.

The same thing is sometimes called nighttime,

sometimes called daytime. Nighttime

and daytime are one thing.


Zazen practice and

everyday activity are one thing.

We call zazen everyday life, and everyday life zazen.

But usually we think, “Now zazen is over, and now we

will go about our everyday activity.” But this is not the

right understanding.  They are the same thing. We

have nowhere to escape. So in activity there

should be calmness, and in calmness

there should be activity. So

calmness and activity

are not different.


Shunryu Suzuki