When you come before your teacher and he asks you what is it exactly that you are looking for, what is it that you expect finally to attain, how will you answer him? If you say you are seeking enlightenment, he will laugh and send you away, but if you answer that you do not know, he will hand you an empty bowl and tell you to go fill it.
A reflection on Case 20 of the Book of Equanimity ( 従容錄, Shōyōroku)
This morning as the bell signaled the end of morning zazen the whistling ducks took up their song, circling the wetland as if inviting me to photograph them.
They quickly grew bored waiting and flew off to a place I do not know, can not imagine.
Perhaps they will return this afternoon, circle in a duck like pose as I capture them with the long lens, and this will satisfy them for another day, but perhaps they will not return and punish me again for my morning absence.
If you go in search of the way, you may come across a sage. He will ask you why you seek it. If you answer, he will strike a deadly blow, if you do not answer he will strike a deadly blow. Grasp his arms and carry him with you.
A reflection on Case 73 of the Shobogenzo (True Dharma Eye) Koans
If you ask me to grasp the Dharma I will read each word as I unroll the scroll, but that is but a small part of grasping it. The rolling up, the placing back, the bow and the return to my waiting cushion, each is a reverent grasping.
A reflection on Case 74 of the Shobogenzo (True Dharma Eye) Koans
To speak of hours of practice is not as good as 10 minutes engaged in practice. So, too, an hour speech on practice pales with even a moment of silence. But to be silent and also not practice is to turn your back on the path and blind yourself with your stick.
A reflection on Case 77 of the Shobogenzo (True Dharma Eye) Koans
How far must you wander to taste the pure essence, hear the pure note, see deeply into beauty, smell the first flower of spring, touch another heart. Will you grow tired from standing still in total silence contemplating this?
A reflection on Case 65 of Dogen’s Shobogenzo Koans (Trud Dharma Eye)
Bring me your mind but leave the body behind, this is what you must do to attain enlightenment. You may sit where you are in total silence, or you may come over here and sit quietly at my feet. Both paths lead deeply into the way.
A reflection on Case 64 of Dogen’s Shobogenzo Koans (True Dharma Eye)