HYAKUJO’S SECOND VISIT 正法眼蔵 語十四

You may come asking questions,
and perhaps the teacher
will answer you with a discourse.
If you go deaf and hear nothing,
if the words flit
like so many mayflies
just as soon gone,
if no word finds purchase,
you will have grasped
the heart of the Dharma.


A reflection on case 54 of the Shobogenzo (Dogen’s True Dharma Eye)

THREE VIEWS OF THE SHOBOGENZO

SEIGAN’S WHISK

If a master asks
where I am from
I shall tell him.
If he lifts his stick
and asks if
they have this stick there
I will grab the stick
and cast it
into the ocean
so it may go
where it chooses.

HYAKUJO REMAINS SEATED

The gift of dharma
flies off
in ten directions
on silent winds.
Only your body
can bridge
the infinite abyss.

NANSEN’S WATER BUFFALO

Along the path
there is always the sun
but where do you find it
in the heart of night.
The moon is a mirror
even the water buffalo
knows this clearly
and a shrouding cloud
is but a million lenses
overwhelming the eye.
Only when you see this
may you stand
in the field
with the great beast.