Dec 23 – 29

You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them. But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be the slave of everyone else. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.

-Jesus of Nazareth, Mark 10:42-45 NLT

Practice Meetings

Friday Dec 28, 7:00pm
(NOTE: On Fridays, you may wish to come one hour early and take Tai Chi with Dylan Klempner at 6pm.)

Cancelled this week:

Tuesday Dec 25, 8:30am

This Week’s Reading

Thich Nhat Hanh, Old Path While Cloud, Chapter 25, “Music’s Lofty Peaks”.

This Week’s Koan

Gateless Gate #42: “A woman comes out of meditation”

The wisest Bodhisattva Manjusuri, who is supposed to be next in order to Shakyamuni Buddha, found that the Buddha’s gathering was adjourned and each was going back to his/her land. Observing one woman still deep in meditation near Shakyamuni, Manjusuri properly bowed and asked Shakyamuni Buddha:

“That woman has been able to reach that state of Enlightenment and why have I not?”

Shakyamuni replied,

“Bring her from the Samadhi and ask her yourself!”

Manjusuri went round the woman three times and snapped his fingers and yet she was undisturbed in meditation. So Manjusuri held her high up in his hand and brought her to the first of three meditative heavens (totally detached from any lust) and exhausted all his mystical powers in vain (to awaken her).

Observing this, Shakyamuni said,

“Even a hundred thousand Manjusris could not awaken her from Samadhi.  There resides Mo-myo (Avidya) Boddhisattva, the lowest of all, below this place past twelve hundred million lands. He alone can raise her from her deep meditation.”

No sooner had the Shakyamuni spoken than that Boddhisattva sprang up out of the earth, bowed and paid his homage to Shakyamuni. By Shakyamuni order, Mo-myo Boddhisattva snapped his fingers. Instantly the woman came out of meditation and stood up.

Mumon’s verse:

Whether the one who could bring her out of meditation, or the other who could not,
Both of them obtained freedom.
The one wore the mask of god, the other, a devil’s mask in that theatre,
Even the failure is artistic indeed.

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