Jun 11 – 17

“We’re unkind; we’re manipulative; we’re dishonest. If we saw that this very life we lead is the face of God itself, we would not be able to behave such ways — not because of any commandment or prohibition, but just because we see what life is.”

– Joko Beck

“In this moment, is your view life-centered or self-centered?”

“When you grieve over someone’s death, is it wholly the loss of the person you’re mourning, or in part the loss of your own dreams?”

– Ezra Bayda and Josh Bartok

Practice Meetings

Tuesday Jun 12, 8:30am
Friday Jun 15, 7:00pm

This Week’s Reading

Charlotte Joko Beck, Nothing Special, “Dorothy and the Locked Door,” p. 258.

We’ll be discussing Nothing Special until early July, then we’ll start on Thich Nhat Hanh, Old Path White Clouds: Walking in the Footsteps of the Buddha (Parallax Press, 1991). To order a copy from Amazon, click here.

This Week’s Koan

Gateless Gate #26, Book of Serentiy #27: “Two Monks Roll Up the Blinds”

A monk once went to the Great Fayan of Jingliang before the midday meal to ask for instruction.
Fayan pointed to the bamboo blinds with his hand.
At that moment, two monks who were there went over to the blinds, and rolled them up in the same manner.
Fayan said, “One has gained, one has lost.””


Fayan (“Hogen” in Japanese), b. 885
15th Generation
Lineage: Shitou > Tianhuang > Longtan > Deshan > Xuefeng > Xuansha > Luohan > Fayan
Dharma Siblings: Jinshan Honglin, Xiushan Longji
Also appears in: Blue Cliff Record #7, Book of Serenity #17, 20, 51, 64, 74

Wumen’s Verse (from Gateless Gate).

The blind being rolled up, bright clarity penetrates the great empty space.
Yet the great empty space still does not match the principle of our sect;
It is far better to throw away emptiness and everything completely,
And with a tight fit, never to let the wind pass through.

Tiantong’s Verse (from Book of Serenty):

Pines are straight, branbles are crooked; cranes are tall, ducks are short.
In the age of the ancient emperors, people forgot about both government and anarchy.
Such peace — a hiddendragon in the abyss;
Such freedom — a soring bird sheds its tether.
Nothing can be done about the Patriarch’s coming from the West —
Within, gain and loss are half and half.
Reeds go along with the wind, turning in the air,
The boat cuts off the lfow and reaches the shore.
Spiritually-sharp mendicants here,
Observe Fayan’s method.

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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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