Describe this moment without use of word or sound – see where you are with eyes pressed tightly closed, hear a song with utter silence, taste the pure mountain air reach out and touch that which has no shape or form, no essence and you sit in the middle of reality.
A reflection on case 45 of Dogen’s Shobogenzo Koans (True Dharma Eye)
An elk stands at the edge of a placid mountain lake and sees only the clouds of an approaching winter. A black bear leans over the mirrored surface of the lake and sees only the fish that will soon be his repast. The young man draped in saffron robes looks calmly into the water and sees a pebble, the spirit of his ancestors. I look carefully into the water looking for an answer to a question always lurking out of reach and see only my ever thinning hair.
FirstAppeared in Green’s Magazine (Canada), Vol. 29, No.1, Autumn 2000.
If you ask when is the best time to seek wisdom I will tell you at the stroke of midnight and I will walk on a lighter left foot. If you ask the next day when is the best time to seek wisdom I will tell you at highest noon and I will walk on a lighter right foot.
A reflection on Case 39 of Dogen’s Shoboganzo Koans (True Dharma Eye)
The wise one delivers most knowledge without opening his mouth. The sagacious student does not hide the wisdom he inherits but offers it in utter silence. What is it you wished to say for I am ready not to listen.
A reflection on Dogen’s Shobogenzo Koans Case 34 (True Dharma Eye)
The wisest of men, when asked at what time it is best to pursue the Way, will answer when a thousand stars have made their presence known. The wisest student will say when cleaning myself by bathing in the mud. This will become clear when the frog consumes the dragon.
A reflection on Case 35 of Dogen’s Shobogenzo Koans (True Dharma Eye)
If I come before the teacher he will give me thirty blows. If I do not come before the teacher he will give me thirty blows. It is the same for everyone, his arms never grow tired but if I never see my teacher, I give him thirty blows and my arms are suddenly heavy.
A reflection on Case 31 of Dogen’s Shobogenzo Koans (True Dharma Eye)
Follow the old fellow walking over there, he who cannot see because it is too bright, who cannot see because it is too dark who cannot see above himself, below behind or beside, but traverses the path with an unerring foot.
A reflection on Case 22 of Dogen’s Shobogenzo Koans (True Dharma Eye)