THE SKY ABOVE

Only in New York will you find a giraffe looking up at taller buildings
and not thinking this the least bit strange. People always look up at
buildings and it is never strange, but people know that giraffes must
be different and their looking up is by its very nature strange. Giraffes
look down at people as well. This is not strange, and people accept this
although they are usually not pleased. People do not like being looked
down upon. Not even by giraffes.

TWO JOURNEYS THROUGH THE GATE

Tosotsu’s Three Barriers          無門關 四十七
Before you sit Tosotsu’s three mountains
how will you traverse them,
legless on your zafu?

Look within your mind,
search diligently, for when
you find nothing, all
is laid out before you.
Confuse life and death
for one is the other,
the other the one.
Search no longer
for the destination
look only at your feet
and chew, don’t gulp your meal.
Kempo’s One Road           無門關 四十八
Above you, Buddhas
below you, Buddhas
in each direction, Buddhas,
but which Buddha marks the way?

Follow a line from head
to foot and you
will see the way.

Look within, for your
highest self, search
to the thirty-third heaven
and if you should see
that self, greet him
with the strike of a fan
or the kyosaku and prepare
to be washed by
torrents of rain.


Reflections on Mumonkan Cases 47 and 48.