You may ask many things of any teacher you meet but the wisest of them will only offer you unending questions. When you look to them to point you to the Way they are doomed to failure for your feet obscure the Way, and it is only by looking within and down through your legs and feet and toes that you can see the way
A reflection on Case 63 of Dogen’s Shobogenzo Koans (True Dharma Eye)
The wisest of men, when asked at what time it is best to pursue the Way, will answer when a thousand stars have made their presence known. The wisest student will say when cleaning myself by bathing in the mud. This will become clear when the frog consumes the dragon.
A reflection on Case 35 of Dogen’s Shobogenzo Koans (True Dharma Eye)
Bow before a king and you may be rewarded but bow before a teacher and expect to be shunned. Which has something to offer? Ask the teacher why he shuns you and he will turn you away.
One offers a bit of gold, one offers a priceless gem. Gold can buy you many things but the gem is worthless to all but he to who it is given. Pick carefully, for here the fool and wise man walk separate paths.
Approach the master sitting on his seat. The fool will seek answers having slept through the lesson but the wise student will bow silently and retreat having learned all there is and knowing absolutely nothing.
A reflection on case 44 of Dogen’s True Dharma Eye Koans
When you travel from home and are asked if the lake on the shore of which you live is now full, what can you say. Will you speak of the rains that soaked your fields and what of the herd of water buffalo come to graze since you have left.
The eye sees only now the mind sees history and the wise man sees nothing.