In this dharma talk, Sokuzan makes a distinction between “ego forms”, conventional social constructs that support self centered goals and “practice forms” which provide the structure to support awareness that sees through self centeredness.
Sokuzan talks about the 9th Grave Precept in the Soto Zen tradition: “No Being Angry”. The intention of this precept is to bring awareness to the energy of anger and practice feeling the heat without acting out of it or shutting down on it.
Sokuzan talks about the great importance of sangha, the community of people who study and practice together. By reflecting self centeredness and resonating with clarity, sangha supports your awakening.
Sokuzan’s dharma talk is inspired by a line in Hsin Hsin Ming: Trust in the Heart-Mind, a poem by the third Zen patriarch Seng-ts’an (Kanchi Sosan): “To set up what you like against what you dislike is a disease of the mind”
The first appraisal is the way we feel about ourselves and how we’re doing. The second appraisal is when we don’t like what’s happening in ourselves so we judge others. Sokuzan talks about working with the reaction of appraisal so we see what it really is.