We walk forwards
to try to see
where we are going,
but never seeing
where we have been.
Is it better to
where we will not go
of a destination.
Look down and decide.
A reflection on Case 92 of the Shobogenzo (Dogen’s True Dharma Eye)
You are perpetually searching,
but what is it you seek?
If you say it is wisdom,
how will you know it
if it finds you?
You may look
in a thousand mirrors
and no mind
will be seen
in none of them.
You are an oyster,
where is the pearl?
A reflection on Case 9 of the Shobogenzo, the True Dharma Eye
As you stare
into the mirror
it is your reflection
you believe that
you clearly see.
As the face
in the mirror
stares at you,
it is its face
it believes that
it sees reflected.
There is one face
and there are
a thousand faces.
A reflection on Case 88 of the Shobogenzo
If you come forward
and ask no question,
the master will
give you an answer,
but if you approach
with a question,
the master will
strike you with the stick.
It is only when
your eyes are blinded
that you can take up
the master’s staff
and all is clearly seen.
The old monk, leaning on his cane
smiled at the man prostrating himself
before the great Buddha repeatedly.
The monk gently interrupted the man,
“what is it you hope to achieve
by all of these prostrations, you clearly
are seeking something, you clearly
have not found what you are seeking.”
“I am seeking the wisdom that only
the great Buddha can provide,”
the man said, looking into the eyes
of the old monk, who only smiled.
The monk reached within his robe,
pulled out a mirror and held it
in front of the man, who stared
deeply into it, smiled and walked away.
The monk prostrated himself three times
to the great Golden Buddha, who smiled.
A reflection on Case 11 of the Shobogenzo
You like being here, but
you suspect you would like being there
as well, if not more than being here.
This puzzles you, for you fear
leaving here to go there, in case
when you arrive there you don’t like
being there and would rather be here.
You should sit and ponder which
is better for you, here or there,
even though you cannot be certain
just what is there, or what
there will be here if you go there.
But if you do go there, there will
then be here, and here will then be there.
Now consider why must here and there
be different, since there contains here,
and here is most all of there.
This question is a naked singularity
and deep within it lies
everywhere you ought to be.
A reflection on Case 89 of the Shobogenzo
If you are seeking the way
do not consult a map
and most certainly
do not follow in the footsteps
of the wisest person.
Do not ever ask directions
for it is only when
you are utterly lost
and have no idea
which way to go,
that your every step
is a step along the Way.
A reflection on Case 37 of the Shobogenzo.