If you wish to find true wisdom
where do you begin to look?
Everywhere you look is the wrong place,
for true wisdom is everywhere.
If this confuses, first look for yourself.
Where will you find yourself?
If you say in the mirror, all
will laugh for the mirror is
nothing more than reflective glass.
Are you reflective glass?
So I ask again, where
can you find yourself.
The task is easy if you
realize there is no self
and no-self is yourself,
for you then have found true wisdom.
A reflection on case 68 of the Book of Equanimity>
When you look in the mirror
do you hope to see yourself,
and who is that face that stares back?
If you turn out the light, are you
still there in the mirror, or has
the illusion of you disappeared?
If you crack the mirror, do you
feel the pain of the scar across your face?
You cannot hope to see yourself, for
you would then cease to be you,
and the mirror would stare and see nothing.
You cannot search for the Buddha
for in looking you make finding impossible.
All this looking and so
very little being, so just be.
A reflection on Case 7 of the Hekiganroku (Blue Cliff Record)
Baso knows well
only the ox truly
understands the yoke
but if you offer it
the ox will not accept.
Why would you seek
to become the ox?
It would be better
to burn the yoke.
A reflection on Case 33 of The Mumonkan (The Gateless Gate)
If a poor man offers you
the finest diamond
do you take it, and what
of the gift of a crust of bread
from the wealthy man.
Each gift, in its way,
is worthy of rejection.
Once I grasped at great thoughts –
now I can forget my own name
and wonder whose face it is
that I see in the mirror.
A reflection on Case 70 of The Iron Flute (Tetteki tōsui).
Walking on the road
today, I didn’t see
the Buddha and thus
had no need to kill him.
I did find what I thought
to be a dog’s Buddha nature,
but it proved to be nothing-
ness, so I walked on
through the gate that led
This evening it rained
and I picked up each drop
and when I had the last,
threw them into the sky.
is said and done
when the questions
when you grow
tired of answers,
ask yourself this:
The hardest thing is knowing that this
precise moment, this precise place
is the tipping point, and things could
go either way from here, although the Buddha
would suggest that there are ten directions
in which everything always can go.
You cannot pause and reflect on this,
for this precise moment, this precise place
is also a tipping point, as is this one
and this one, ad infinitum, ad nauseam.
But if you don’t know this, then just
perhaps, all ten directions are open to you.