When I write the story of my life, it will not be me standing by the sea staff in hand, waiting for the waters to part. It will be sand, endless seas of sand, piled around my feet. I will not recount ten plagues for there is only one that matters at all and it was not terribly exciting, no generation perished, we weren’t overrun with frogs or vermin save the odd infestation of cockroaches and the passing rat that makes faces at the cat cowering in the corner. I could have climbed that damned mountain, but the thought of dragging two great tablets back down with the poor footing, it just wasn’t worth it. It has been over forty years wallowing around in the sand until it caked between my toes and not a cursed thing has happened, just sand and writing on the sand grows tiresome after the first breeze. Actually I don’t care if I never see this new land, just get me away from this godawful sand.
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)
You may ask many things of any teacher you meet but the wisest of them will only offer you unending questions. When you look to them to point you to the Way they are doomed to failure for your feet obscure the Way, and it is only by looking within and down through your legs and feet and toes that you can see the way
A reflection on Case 63 of Dogen’s Shobogenzo Koans (True Dharma Eye)
I know you have a single question for which an answer will enlighten you. Neither Baso, Chizo nor Kai are here so you are asking me.
The answer is simple: cover your ears tightly and listen while I speak with closed mouth, watch my feet dance in joy as they do not move. If the answer is not apparent, ask Chizo, Baso and Kai to speak from beyond the grave.
A reflection on case 6 of the Book of Equanimity Koans
Of course when we lived up north we wouldn’t have imagined this, sitting on our lanai watching the sun set the patchy sky ablaze sipping small glasses of port and wondering if a light jacket might be in order, as the beaver moon of November waxes slowly.
The cat, curled at our feet cannot imagine the icy wind howling down the street, the foreboding clouds offering their first flakes, knowing this is a small taste of what nature will bring forth before we could again sit in shirtsleeves on our porch.
As you wander around looking for a place to build a temple, looking for eden, looking for nirvana, stop and simply sit, listen to the breeze teaching you the Dharma, the clouds chanting the sutras in a harmony beyond your hearing. Look down for you are in your temple, sitting in eden nirvana at your feet.
A reflection on case 4 of the Book of Equanimity Koans
Sitting atop a hundred foot pole you are convinced there are only two directions: pole and down. Old Osho asks, how will you proceed and you stare back at this lunatic. How will you proceed, he repeats?
You release the pole step slowly away, looking at ten directions before you, you move your feet, each one touches the path of each of the three worlds and Osho gently touching your elbow walks a bit by your side.
A reflection on case 46 of the Mumonkan (Gateless Gate) Koans.