Our Job for the Rest of Our Life

From Charlotte Joko Beck's Now Zen (edited by Steve Smith), at the end of "Beginning Zen Practice":

But sitting is not something that we do for a year or two with the idea of mastering it. Sitting is something we do for a lifetime. There is no end to the opening up that is possible for a human being. Eventually we see that we are the limitless, boundless ground of the universe. Our job for the rest of our life is to open up into that immensity and to express it. Having more and more contact with this reality always brings compassion for others and changes our daily life. We live differently, work differently, relate to people differently. Zen is a lifelong study. It isn't just sitting on a cushion for thirty or forty minutes a day. Our whole life becomes practice, twenty-four hours a day.

(the same talk also appears in Everyday Zen; cf. Juggling Enlightenment (2014-08-07), Giving Up Hope (2014-09-01), No-Self and the Space of Wonder (2014-10-20), No-Self (2014-12-25), No Drama (2015-01-16), No Expectation (2015-01-02), Enlightenment Is Not (2015-07-06), ...) - ^z - 2015-07-18