“Our life is a gleam which comes and is gone,
As springtime offers blossoms to fade in the fall
Earthly flourish and decline, O friends, do not fear at all.
They are but a drop of dew on the grass of morn!”
If Zen is to be of any use to our lives we must be able to bring what is discovered to our daily life. Zen does not remove us from life and the world but gives us the insight necessary to help better it. As a practitioner one has the freedom to take the teachings to what ever purpose one desires. In other words one can live in monastery as a priest or nun or one may return to their regular lives to inspire and teach the principles of Zen to their friends, neighbors and family.
The ability to apply the teachings of Zen to daily life is very important. Zen uses our ordinary life as a vehicle to enlightenment. One must always keep mindful of what one does. One must understand the importance of ordinary activities, that they are methods of Zen.
Although knowledge is looked up on in the west as a key virtue, it is not so in Zen Buddhism. Action is more important, and knowledge that can not be used to enhance life is of little value. It is interesting that many people from the west read all about the benefits of Zen and try to intellectualize the experience with out ever really having it. Although this can be beneficial in following the path it can never substitute for the actual experience.
As mentioned before Zen practice is not only done during periods of sitting but practice extends to the times we are just doing our normal duties. In this way we will find that everyday is a good day. The reality is that everyday is just a day there are no good days or bad days. It is up to our attitudes to decide. Life is always in a state of change and there is nothing wrong with this because it is teaching us something each day. If we can only detach ourselves from the past and enjoy what we have right now, how much better will we feel? We must learn to flow from one moment to the next. If we can do this, everyday will be a good day.