Even with purity like an autumn flood reaching to the heavens, How can it compare with the haziness of a spring night’s moon? Many people desire to find purity in their lives, But though they sweep and sweep, their minds are not yet empty.

Keizan Jokin

‘Do no say that “I alone am honored” is Buddha, and do not say that he either comes or goes. Who can speak of “before my parents were born,” or “prior to the empty eon”? Aiming at this place, one transcends birth and no birth, one is liberated from mind and no mind. It is […]

Buddha Ancestors

After finishing Shinshu’s book, I was moved by some mysterious preference to pick up as my commute read the Denkoroku, Keizan’s assembles stories of the lineage of teachers from Shakyamuni to Koun Ejo, Dogen’s first successor in Japan. I have two versions of it, and this time am reading Francis Cook’s translation. In his introduction he […]

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.’ […]

Keizan Jokin

‘If you think that you have to become a Buddha or acquire the Way, and that in order to acquire the Way you have to abstain from food [except once a day], live a life of purity, meditate for long periods, never lie down, venerate the Buddha, and chant the scriptures and accumulate all the […]

Keizan Jokin

‘Don’t you see? Making the eyebrows rise and the eye blink is alright and not alright. That realm is beyond doubt. Everyone is already endowed with it. When you try to understand that place, it has no features such as ears and eyes. You cannot discern it through seeing and hearing; nothing at all is […]