Friday, 20 October 2017

166. ZEN REMARKS

166. Sitting zazen at dawn and listening to the rain beating on the roof of this lonely hermitage. 'Above the earth and below the heavens, I alone am the Holy One.'

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

165. ZEN REMARKS

165. Imagine a tree growing tall and straight and standing alone in a vast and empty plain. Vines wind themselves around its trunk. Is this an image of your zazen with thoughts coming and going? A sutra says: 'Thought after thought arises in the heart-mind. Thought after thought not separate from heart-mind'. 

Saturday, 30 September 2017

164. ZEN REMARKS

164. Other versions of Isan's saying:

'With phrases, without phrases, are just like wisteria leaning against a tree.'

'The sentence of being ["u"] and the sentence of nothing ["mu"] are just like a wisteria vine twining around a tree.'

'Expression and no expression are like vines clinging to a tree.'

Are these different versions saying the same thing?

Wansong comments: 'Those who accept words perish, those who linger over phrases are lost.'

Thursday, 28 September 2017

163. ZEN REMARKS

163. The 9th century Chinese master Kuei-shan (Isan) had this to say about a certain contemporary debate: 'Saying "yes", saying "no", are like vines wound around a tree'. 

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

162. ZEN REMARKS

162.           sitting up alone
                  in this tree tossed night of wind -
                  far-away the stars 

Thursday, 21 September 2017

161. ZEN REMARKS

161. What are your options when you find yourself hanging by the skin of your teeth high up in Kyogen's tree? 

Thursday, 14 September 2017

160. ZEN REMARKS

160. Practising shikantaza, does one sometimes not find oneself in the situation of the man hanging in Kyogen's tree? If so, how does such a one respond to the challenge of the other? What has one to say about why Bodhidharma came from the West?