The youngest child, her mind uncluttered, can answer any question unburdened by words, her answers rebound across the universe. If you stop struggling to hear her, let the silence surround you both, you cannot escape the answers
A reflection on case 84 of Dogen’s Shobogenzo Koans (True Dharma Eye)
Do not pity the blind man for he can see much, and do not be sad for the deaf for they can hear you. Your eyes see nothing your ears do not discern the quietest sound. Rest your mind and taste the peace of blindness and silence.
A reflection on Case 113 of Dogen’s Shobogenzo (True Dharma Eye) Koans
When you see a mountain why must you climb it with your eyes. When you hear a mighty river why must you ford it with your ears, when you feel the earth why must you touch it with your feet? Are you not the mountain does the river run through you, as you run through it, are you not the earth?
A reflection on Case 16 of the Shobogenzo (Dogen’s True Dharma Eye) koans.
When the master takes his seat what do you expect of him? Do you watch his posture or how his hands are set. Do you stare at his lips and what do you hear when they move, but no sound comes from his throat. Listen carefully, for here the dharma unfolds like the first chrysanthemum.
A reflection on Case 79 of the Shobogenzo (Dogen’s True Dharma Eye)
The keys didn’t frighten me. 88 of them, but I’d never use the majority, probably. And the ones I knew were generally well behaved, although they did defy me from time to time, and then said it was my fault, they didn’t respond to wishes, just fingers, And even the audience didn’t bother me, not even those who were still awake.. They were all parents like mine, and I knew no matter how I played the piece, well, badly, brilliantly, or disastrously, the composer would be silent and the audience full of compliments. My fellow pianists wouldn’t even hear it, heard nothing if they hadn’t yet played, kept replaying their piece in their head if they had.
In setting along the path do you follow Hofuku covering your eyes so as not to see evil, ears so as not to hear it and close your mind to wandering ideas or is Jizo’s path yours as well?
With eyes shut tight the mind will still see, with ears covered sound will echo, growing louder with no hope of escape. With open eyes light is reflected, with ears open fully, sound passes freely and flitters away and the empty bowl is filled with potential.
If my mother was here she would ask me what I have to say for myself. Just this once, I would remain silent, for there is nothing that needs saying and she would be certain that if there were she should be the one to say it, but silence would drive her mad. So perhaps it is good that she is not here, that she did not ask, though if there is a heaven and hell, God or the devil will need to tell her what they have to say for themselves, or they will never, ever hope to hear the end of it.
There is a blessing in silence that we so often deny ourselves, unaware that it lies just beyond the noise of our minds and lives. We crave it, beg for it, and hearing the beggar, shun him for the noise he carries like the skin he cannot molt. Beethoven understood silence in his later years and filled with a music none of us will pause to hear.