The Blue Cliff Record

‘Ummon said to his disciples, “Medicine and disease cure each other. The whole world is medicine. Where do you find the self?”‘

I have been asked to speak to a class this week about how buddhists relate to suffering, and as part of my reflections, I thought of this koan. I have struggled to get on top of this one before – I remember Michael Wenger quoting it often. As usual for a koan, there is no single right answer, but there is a way of looking at things which steers you away from wrong answers. For now I will say: everything exists in relation to everything else, but if you expect the way you conceive those relationships to be the truth, then you are not seeing the whole picture.

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