Sekito Kisen

‘You can’t attain it this way. You can’t attain it not this way. Trying to attain it this way or not this way, it can’t be attained. So what will you do?’ (Zen’s Chinese Heritage) Sekito was saying this to get his student Yakusan to let go of clinging. Yakusan went to Master Ma, who set […]


‘When Mazu heard that Damei lived on the mountain, he sent a monk to call upon him and ask the question, “When you saw Master Mazu, what did he say that caused you to come and live on this mountain?” Damei said, “Master Mazu said to me, ‘Mind is Buddha.’ Then I came here to […]

Mokufu Sonin

‘Master Keizan Jokin asked the nun Mokufu Sonin, “The winter is coming to an end and the springtime is arriving. There is an order to this. What is your understanding?” Sonin replied, “In the branches of a tree without shade, how could there be any seasons?” Keizan asked her, “What about right now?” Sonin bowed.’ […]


‘Baizhang said: “I want someone to go and tell something to Xitang.” Wufeng said: “I’ll go.” Baizhang said: “How will you speak to him?” Wufeng said: “I’ll wait until I see Xitang, then I’ll speak.” Baizhang said: “What will you say?” Wufeng said: When I come back, I’ll tell you.”‘ (Zen’s Chinese Heritage)  


‘Changqing asked Baofu Congzhan, “Seeing form is no other than seeing mind. Do you see a boat?” Baofu said, “Yes I do.” Changqing said, “Putting the boat aside, what is mind?” Baofu pointed at the boat.’ (Shinji Shobogenzo) He might as well have been looking at a cypress tree…


‘One day Master Isan Reiyu was asked by a monk, “What is the truth?” Master Isan said, “Not to have an intentional idea is the truth.” The monk said, “I cannot understand your words.” Master Isan said, “It is good to know there is something that cannot be understood.” The monk said, “In what state […]