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
If there were truly justice at least of the poetic sort perhaps Van Gogh could have been born 75 years earlier, and in Vienna not Holland, so that when he decided to be rid of an ear he could have offered it to Beethoven neither of his working in his later years. And if a poet could arrange time travel using his license then he could just as easily have made the ear work for Beethoven. But on second thought, heaven knows what the mighty Ninth Symphony might have sounded like if Beethoven had to listen constantly to the critics.
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
The wise one delivers most knowledge without opening his mouth. The sagacious student does not hide the wisdom he inherits but offers it in utter silence. What is it you wished to say for I am ready not to listen.
A reflection on Dogen’s Shobogenzo Koans Case 34 (True Dharma Eye)
The good and the bad of acquiring a new work of art is that you have to listen carefully when it tells you just where in your home it has to be. You may have other ideas, but it is best to set them aside, for ultimately the art knows far better than you. All you must do is listen carefully, and mindfully but devoid of preconceptions. And new works of art come with a knowledge of how those domino mazes are constructed, for once they find where they need and must be, the art that occupied that place is duty bound to tell you where it wants next to be, and so on. So gather up your tools, ladder, picture hooks and nails for this is going to be a much longer day than you envisioned.
I have had two, although the first is long forgotten, so perhaps it no longer counts, it certainly didn’t to her, announcing its end like the conductor of a train running late on the mainline to sadness.
Perhaps I have not forgotten but all I see is myself standing alone, intoning words to which the crowd intently listens, much like the audience at a reading by a lesser known poet, feigned polite awareness.
I’ll just say I’ve had one for it is easier that way on all three parties.
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)