‘Dogen Zenji says that the practice of zazen is identical with enlightenment. Let me give you an example. If you clean your room, you think that your room is beautiful and neat looking. It is natural that you should think so. According to Dogen, however, who maintains that practice is identical with enlightenment, the very […]
‘Yunyan asked a monk what he was doing. The monk replied, “I’ve been talking to a rock.” Yunyan said, “Did it nod to you [indicating that it understood you]? When the monk didn’t reply, Yunyan answered for him: “It nodded to you before you even said anything.”‘ Here’s a koan I can definitely relate to.
‘The song of bamboo is beautiful, but it doesn’t appear alone. It is waiting to meet with the spring wind.’ (quoted in Embracing Mind)
Walking along I followed the drifting stream to its source But reaching the headwaters left me stunned That’s when I realized that the true source isn’t a particular place you can reach So now, wherever my staff sets down I just play in the current’s eddies and swirls.
‘Yes, my bones know the absolute life, unencumbered by labels, fixed perceptions, and appearances. But the absolute life has never been the problem I have to face in the world. In this twenty-first century, many have agreed that race is a construct or illusion used to create racism. It is also acknowledged in some places […]
‘Those who meditate in silent stillness regard silent stillness as final, but it is not something to finalize in stillness. Those who assert mastery in the midst of busyness are satisfied with busyness, but it is not something to be satisfied with in the midst of busyness. Those who learn from the scriptures consider the […]
When I give zazen instruction, as I did last weekend at Wilbur, I always tell people to notice which leg they put in front (if they are sitting Burmese), or which foot feels easier to have on the thigh (if they are sitting half-lotus), and to switch out to see how it feels on the […]
‘When everything changes we seek for some permanent thing, we want everything to be permanent. Especially when we have something good or when we see something beautiful or we want it to be always in that way. But actually everything changes. So that is why we suffer. So if we seek for happiness – even […]
‘When you practice and learn the reality of zazen thoroughly, the frozen blockage of illusory mind will naturally melt away. If you think that you have cut off illusory mind, instead of simply clarifying how illusory mind melts, illusory mind will come up again, as though you had cut the stem of a blade of […]
“We can see the functioning of the universe in all our activities – walking, standing, sitting and sleeping – not just in zazen. When you act wholeheartedly, your activity becomes very clear, calm, flexible and magnanimous. It is boundless, and simultaneously it is you. So studying the boundlessness of activity is studying the self. This […]