Apr. 9 – 15

“Practice is nothing but that attitude of curiosity: ‘What’s going on here, now? What am I thinking? What am I feeling? What is life presenting to me? What am I doing with this? What is an intelligent thing to do with this?'”

– Joko Beck

Practice Meetings

Tuesday Apr. 10, 8:30am
Friday Apr. 13. 7:00pm

This Week’s Reading

Charlotte Joko Beck, Nothing Special, “Curiosity and Obsession,” p. 193.

This Week’s Koan

Book of Serenity, #20: Dizang’s “Most Intimate”

Dizang asked Fayan, “Where are you going, senior monk?” [“Senior monk” (joza) is an honorific for a monk who has practiced more┬áthan 10 years.]
Fayan said, “I am on pilgrimage, following the wind.”
Dizang said, “What are you on pilgrimage for?”
Fayan said, “I don’t know.”
Dizang said, “Non-knowing is most intimate.”
Fayan suddenly attained great enlightenment.


Dizang (“Jizo” in Japanese), b. 868
14th Generation
Lineage: Shitou > Tianhuang > Longtan > Deshan > Xuefeng > Xuansha > Dizang
Dharma Siblings: None of record.
Appears also in: Book of Serenity #12

Fayan (“Hogen ” in Japanese), b. 885
15th Generation
Lineage: Shitou > Tianhuang > Longtan > Deshan > Xuefeng > Xuansha > Dizang > Fayan
Dharma Siblings: Xiushan Longji, Jinshan
Appears also in: GG 26 (BOS 27), BCR 7, BOS 17, 51, 64, 74
[GG: Gateless Gate. BCR: Blue Cliff Record. BOS: Book of Serenity]

Remember the Daoist saying: “For knowledge, add. For wisdom, subtract.” What you “know” about a thing boxes it in. If you are encountering a tree, then your knowledge about trees puts it in categories such as, “pine tree” and “about 30 years old.” Strip all that away and simply be present to the uniqueness of that situation. Subtract the knowledge, and wisdom comes forth. Subtract the knowledge, and there is nothing between you and the experience, no filter of categories, nothing. You stand naked before the phenomena, and the phenomena stand naked before you. Not knowing is the most intimate.

Hongzhi’s Verse (Wick translation):

Right now, investigation replete, it’s the same as before.
Utterly free from minute obstacles, one comes to not know.
Short’s short, long’s long. Cease pruning and grafting.
According with high, according with low, each is even and content.
A family’s manner of abundance or thrift is used freely according to circumstances.
Fields and lands excellent, sportive; one’s feet go where they will.
The matter of thirty years pilgrimage —
a clear transgression against one’s pair of eyebrows.

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About mgarmon

b. 1959; grew up VA, NC, AL, GA; also lived in TX, TN, MN, and now in FL; m. 1979; 1 daughter, b 1980; 1 son, b. 1982; div. 1997; m. 2000; Honduran son, b. 1987, adopted 2004; schooled: U West Ga, Emory, Baylor, UVa; UTS; MLTS. Former philosophy professor, now a UU minister and zen student.

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