How far must you wander to taste the pure essence, hear the pure note, see deeply into beauty, smell the first flower of spring, touch another heart. Will you grow tired from standing still in total silence contemplating this?
A reflection on Case 65 of Dogen’s Shobogenzo Koans (Trud Dharma Eye)
Imagine, for just a moment, you have become a crow. You know that you will be detested by most eventually, your voice despised by all who are forced to hear it. And while you can fly, you know you won’t be more welcome regardless of where you choose to land.
If you cannot imagine this, then imagine you have become a politician, for that will, for you, prove to be much the same as crowhood, the biggest difference being your new need to grovel before all, because the loss of that job would be an unbearable state.
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.