WORDS

He is looking for words. There are no words. He feels he needs to say something. There are no words. He feels deep pain. There are no words for his deep pain. Many are speaking. There are no words to speak. Everyone is looking for words. There are no words. Everyone wants to say something. There are no words to say. Everyone fears the silence. There are no words in silence. He accepts the silence. He stops looking for words.

NO TWO

If you ask me whether
a dog has Buddha nature,
I will stare back at you
in total silence.
If you ask again,
or implore an answer,
I will smile at you,
offer gassho and a bow.
If you ask yet again,
I will turn away
and you will be left
with a box into which
you dare not look
lest you find
Schrodinger’s cat.


Musing on case 1 of the Gateless Gate (Mumonkan)

SUN-FACED BUDDHA, MOON-FACED BUDDHA

Life is joy and pain,
two sides, one coin –
death is caused by birth –
stop and consider this.

Look into the face
of the evening sun,
will it retreat
from your eyes
or linger in memory?
Look into the face
of the full midnight moon,
does she have
the sun’s face
only until morning?


A reflection on Case 3 of the Blue Cliff Record (碧巌録)

BUDDHA NATURE

Any good cat will tell you that there is absolutely no good reason to distinguish between here and there, night and day, good and evil, and the list is virtually endless. Cats will admit, if you ask them nicely, that they have no need for such dualities. Cats understand gray in all of its gradations, but black and white is simply wrong, a cat will say. They don’t comprehend why people need such dualities, for cats know that what they have, at any given moment, is enough, it is all really, to just simply be. A cat will tell you in secret that while Lin Ji gets all of the credit, it was the cat who shared its wisdom with him, reminding him, “When walking, just walk. When sitting, just sit. But above all, don’t wobble.” Cats will assure you that they do not wobble. They will tell you that having “only” to legs is hardly a good excuse for wobbling. Cats live in the moment, for it is all they have and they know it. This is their Buddha nature in practice. That, and their claws that they are more than willing to use to draw you back to the moment when, on the zafu in meditation the mind wanders. And, they note, it is more effective than any keisaku.