Seize the Weapon of the Antidote

Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Zen Mountain Monastery, 11/19/2020

Shugen Roshi continues his teachings from  The Thirty Seven Verses on the Practice of a Bodhisattva, with verse 35:

“When emotions become habitual, they are hard to get rid of with antidotes.
Therefore, with mindfulness and vigilance, to seize the weapon of the antidote
And crush attachment and other negative emotions
The moment they arise is the practice of a bodhisattva”

Speaking to our hearts and minds, Shugen Roshi expounds on the afflictive emotions that can toss us into turmoil. Pointing to their inherent empty nature Roshi asks us to question where the power of emotions lies. Better still, we should ask who or what is giving our emotions so much strength. Using the teachings, Shugen shows that it is our distracted mind that gives rise to our conflict with emotion. This conflict is only strengthened in subconscious habitual patterns. Thus, seize the weapon of the antidote, skillfully practice with mindfulness and vigilance.

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