When you come
before your teacher and he asks you what is it exactly that you are looking for, what is it that you expect finally to attain, how will you answer him? If you say you are seeking enlightenment, he will laugh and send you away, but if you answer that you do not know, he will hand you an empty bowl and tell you to go fill it.
A reflection on Case 20 of the Book of Equanimity ( 従容錄,
Buddhism, Buddhist, Japan, Koan, meditation, mind, Mystical, Philosophy, Photography, Poem, Religion, Uncategorized, Zen
The hawk sits on a branch
looking up at the sky, knowing this is perfection, lifting up chasing a cloud, floating lazily.
The butterfly flits from plant
to plant, tasting the fruits that nature has given her, perfection in a single moment.
The cat sleeps on a rocker
the breeze rustling her coat, until waking for dinner which appears at her request.
We spend hours searching
for the keys to heaven, hoping to insure what comes after this life, but so often not living it.
birds, Buddhism, Buddhist, Cat, Death, mind, Nature, Philosophy, Poem, psychology, Time, Uncategorized
If you go in search of Buddha
should you see him, do not stop or speak but run away. If you do not see the Buddha run away from that place. If you stop, to take water from the edge of a still pond look carefully, for the Buddha is there just above the water’s surface.
A reflection on case 80 of Dogen’s Shobogenzo Koans
(True Dharma Eye)
Buddhism, Buddhist, Japan, Koan, meditation, mind, Philosophy, Photography, Poem, Religion, Zen
What is it you are looking for,
what you expect to find and how will you know if you find it?
You expected your teacher
to present it to you?
What would you do with it
if you did receive it?
You must first see that you
are both the searcher and the teacher and you already have what you are searching for, for you find things when you stop looking for them.
A reflection on Case 17 of the Book of Equanimity (SHôYôROKU 従容錄)
Buddhism, Buddhist, Japan, Koan, meditation, mind, Mystical, Photography, Poem, psychology, Religion, Uncategorized, Zen
Once the winter stars
wrapped in their cloudy shroud shed frozen tears, unwilling to come out of hiding. We searched for them in vain, knowing our failure, retreating to the warmth of home, only to repeat the failed effort on so many other nights.
Now, here, the winter stars
are usually fearless, some drowned by the moon, but she waxes and wanes and they reappear, the brightest never fearing the chilled sky. We stare at them in wonder having forgotten for so many years just how beautiful they can be in their glory.
astronomy, Christianity, Florida, mind, Nature, Night, Photography, Poem, Science, seasons, weather, winter
In your endless search
for enlightenment, the best course, the only course is to stop looking.
It may strike you,
unexpected or it may arise without your seeing as you continue your practice.
You say there are many Buddhas
and you are correct, but I say there is but one Buddha and I am also correct, and you are that one Buddha and I am that one Buddha as well.
A reflection on case 14 of the Book of Equanimity (SHôYôROKU 従容錄)
Buddhism, Buddhist, Japan, Koan, meditation, mind, Mystical, Photography, Poem, Religion, Uncategorized, Zen
As you search
through the Dharma what is it you hope to find?
When you ask your teacher
to explain the Dharma, what do you expect him to tell you?
Do you cling to Dharma
because it is there, unchanging, a guide to the end of your search?
Better to live the precepts
fully, present in every moment, waking, working, eating and even sleeping for then the path rolls out before you.
A reflection on Case 12 of the Book of Equanimity (従容錄, Shōyōroku)
The leaves will soon begin
their descent from the small tree, already brown, their beauty departing before they do so.
They are bilobular, an odd word,
but one that belongs in a poem, even this one it seems, and it is their shape that you first notice.
The tree will all to soon be naked,
branches sticking into the air as if searching for a breath that refuses to arrive.
But we know that soon after
the small buds will open and orchid-like flowers will appear to our all too temporary joy.
You are a searcher, you
look for answers, you look for the right path that will lead you to enlightenment.
You see everything
as black or white, good or bad, right or wrong. You are a master at division.
Stop searching, stop
seeking answers, stop dividing, then sit with Nansen’s cat. That will be enough.
A reflection on case 8 of the Book of Equanimity
Buddhism, Buddhist, Cat, Japan, Koan, meditation, mind, Philosophy, Photography, Poem, Uncategorized, Zen
How long have you wandered
always searching for the one answer, the hidden truth that, when revealed to you, will show you enlightenment?
Where have you searched
for this one truth, one that will collapse the past, present and future into a single moment of pure presence which you can grasp and carry with you through life?
Stop and ask the infant
strapped to his mother’s chest, for he has the answer and his silence will speak of it if only you will listen.
A reflection on case 5 of the Book of Equanimity Koans
Buddhism, Buddhist, Children, Japan, Koan, language, mind, Mother, Poem, Religion, Women, Zen