It is only
in the deep stillness and silence of zazen that the words of the Dharma resound loudest
From the cushion
samadhi arises like a Phoenix takes wing and with the final bell all to often flies off mindlessly and it’s gone until the next sitting.
What were you doing
three days ago and what will you do three days from now. Are you the same person now as you were, will be?
While your face in the mirrorKoan
seems much the same each day you die a bit each day you are reborn. A thousand days a thousand years a passing moment, how do they differ?
A reflection on Case 68 of the Iron Flute Koans
If, sitting at your meal
you hear the song of a bird, what do you do? You may tap your chopstick rest, and perhaps he will answer and repeat his sweet song. If you tap a second time and there is only silence is the bird rejecting you or offering his song to another, flown from your window.
Perhaps you should tap again
and hear the sweeter song of silence that echoes over the garden and zendo. On a distant limb the small songbird smiles.
A reflection on Case 60 of the Iron Flute Koans.
birds, Food, Japan, Koan, meditation, mind, Nature, Philosophy, Poem, Religion, Zen
If Kyosei asks
from where I have come how will I answer him? If he asks where my teacher lives what will I tell him?
Such a fool I am
to wander from there to here from here to another place seeking a path on which I am always standing still. Thirty blows is the least I deserve. But Kyosei withdraws the stick.
A reflection on Case 64 of the Iron Flute Koans
If you ask how
can one find the way I will take you into the garden to look at the roses. Each rose is of a different size and color, but which is of the right size and which the right shade?
A reflection on Case 71 of the Shobogenzo (Dogen’s True Dharma Eye)
S: What are you doing, for heaven sake? H: Isn’t it obvious, I’m searching for Nirvana, for enlightenment. S: You silly fool, it’s right behind you! H: (turning suddenly) It is not, I would certainly see it. S: You might think so, but it is still right behind you! H: But why, tell me, can’t I see it? S: Because you’re looking for it always peering outward, but if you look inward behind your eyes, you won’t be able to miss it.
A thousand steps,
one hundred thousand more along the path and the goal seems ever farther away. Stop and rest in perfect stillness. You are there, it has walked with you.
A reflection on Case 86 of the Shobogenzo (Dogen’s True Dharma Eye)
Buddhist, Japan, Koan, meditation, mind, Mystical, Philosophy, Poem, psychology, Travel, Zen
and Schrodinger’s cat- are they one and the same? Leave the lid on the box of the mind. What is the half life of a thought?
A reflection on Cse 114 of teh Shobogenzo (Dogne’s True Dharma Eye)
Buddhist, Japan, Koan, meditation, mind, Mystical, Philosophy, Photography, Physics, Poem, Religion, Zen
Both the great ape and the chimpanzee
say they have been horribly maligned by Buddhist teachers of all people.
They point out that they have been
meditating since the Buddha sat beneath the bodhi tree and was enlightened.
They are capable of deep thought,
are clearly as sentient as people, they claim with some evidence in support.
Why is it, they ask, that we refer
to the unsettled state of the mind when sitting in zazen as monkey mind
when it is plainly apparent to all,
human and simian that the obstacle in zazen is actually a case of human mind.
It was a strange room,
that much I recall, with heavy velvet curtains covering what should have been a window, and might once have been, but no longer.
The only light was a bare bulb
in the ceiling, casting a soft amber wash across the time worn oak floor, and once white walls.
There was a chair, nondescript
and now long forgotten and a small metal table, once gray its paint flaking, its surface mottled and uneven.
Still, I sat in that room
for an hour each day, staring at the walls, and looking deeply within, and finding both empty, have never returned there.