How often have I seen something like WWBD – what would Buddha do – but lately I’ve stopped to think about that.
What if old Gautama Siddhartha were to arrive here, now, what would the Buddha do in a world gone wholly mad?
Would he bother with sutras, bother with teishos to the few still willing to listen, or would he check himself into a good psychiatric facility where he would be left alone most of the time, to just sit and contemplate how it is still possible to find the emptiness of the five skandhas and easily sunder the bonds of suffering if they think you crazy, and just where does all that leave the rest of us, pray tell?
When you come searching for a key to unlock the door to Nirvana I will ask you to complete a simple task. All you need to do is go to the ocean and select the one drop of water different from all of the others.
A reflection on Case 26 of the Book of Equanimity, 従容錄, Shōyōroku
If your teacher asks you to bring him all of the Dharma you have learned what will you bring him? If you begin to recite what you know of the sutras he will turn away and cover his ears. If you sit next to him in silence he will smile.
A reflection on Case 25 of the Book of Equanimity, 従容錄, Shōyōroku
When you approach the teacher what is it that you expect from her? If you ask her to show you the way she will sit and face the wall in silence. What will you learn from this? If you are facing the wall in silence you shout your answer.
A reflection on Case 23 of the Book of Equanimity ( 従容錄, Shōyōroku)
How often have we sat in pews, on the zafu and heard an enrobed man or woman say “Let me describe for you” that which cannot be described, that which is beyond mere words.
We would be better served to just sit in silence and hear deeply what we need, not empty words meant to lead, to mislead, for you God does not speak and you cannot claim to be enlightened, for both are delusion, but both can be experienced if only you look deeply within.
When you are cleaning, what becomes of the dirt? When you are bathing, what becomes of the water? When you exhale, what becomes of the breath? When the moon disappears is the moon truly gone? When you ask your teacher, what becomes of the question? If you sit quietly on the mat and do not think of this, what becomes of you?
A reflection on Case 21 of the Book of Equanimity ( 従容錄, Shōyōroku)
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)
He arrived today although none saw him coming. He had been here before, been quickly ignored, despite his pleas and prayers, they twisted his words to suit their venal desires, his message forever lost in translation. They were not ready, and in their hate fueled world, they might never be.