Monthly Archives: September 2013

Sept 22 – 28

Its essence is emptiness, so abandon self-denial and self-improvement.
Its nature is empty radiance, so let your dilligent effort drop away.  
Everything is unobstructed, so forget your preferences.
Just as phenomena arise, let them be, and do not cling to them.
–Shabkar, The Flight of the Garuda

Practice Meetings

Tuesday Sept 24, 8:30am

Friday Sept 27, 7:00pm

This Week’s Koan

Blue Cliff Record #75

Wujiu’s Unjust Stick

A monk who was a follower of the assembly of Venerable Dingzhou’s side came and arrived at Wujiu.

Wujiu asked, “How does the Way of the Dharma of Dingzhou resemble this side?”

The monk said, “[It is] not different.”

Jiu said, “If not different then you should turn back to the other center and go.” Then he hit.

The monk said, “The tip of the stick has eyes. Don’t get careless hitting a person.”

Jiu said, “Today I hit at one in particular!”  Then he hit down thrice.

The monk then left.

Jiu said, “An unjust stick, from the first arrival there is a person enduring it.”

The monk turned his body around and said, “How can one quarrel when the handle is in the Venerable’s palm?”

Jiu said. “If you want it, this mountain monk will turn it around to give it to you.”

The monk went close in front and grabbed the stick from Jiu’s palm and hit down on Jiu thrice.

Jiu said, “An unjust stick, an unjust stick.”

The monk said, “There is a person enduring it”

Jiu said, “I carelessly hit at this particular fellow.”

The monk then did a ritual bow.

Jiu said, “A Venerable, but goes on like this!”

The monk laughed greatly and exited.

Jiu said, “Alleviating can be like this. Alleviating can be like this.”

Sept 15 – 21

We’re all being reborn at every moment. Look upon each
morning as a rebirth and we may understand that only this
one day exists. What will happen next time is completely
dependent upon what we are doing now, therefore only “now” 
is important. “Now” is the cause; next life is the result.
–Ayya Khema, Being Nobody, Going Nowhere

Practice Meetings

Tuesday Sept 17, 8:30am

Friday Sept 20, 7:00pm

This Week’s Koan

Book of Serenity #72

Zhongyi’s “Monkey”

Yangshan asked Zhongyi, “What is the meaning of Buddha nature?” Zhongyi said, I’ll tell you a simile: it’s like putting a monkey in a room with six windows—when someone outside calls it, ‘Simian! Simian!’ the monkey then responds. In this way, when called through all six windows it responds.”

Yangshan said, “What about when the monkey is asleep?” Zhongyi got right down from his seat, grabbed and held Yangshan and said, “Simian, Simian, you and I see each other.”


Freezing sleep in a snowy room, the year about ended;
The recondite ivy gate does not open at night.
Groves and forests withered in the cold—look at the changing conditions:
The spring wind’s blowing stirs the ashes in the pipe.

Sept 8 – 14

I hold my face in my two hands.
No, I am not crying.
I hold my face in my two hands
to keep the loneliness warm –
two hands protecting,
two hands nourishing,
two hands preventing
my soul from leaving me
in anger.
–Thich Nhat Hanh

Practice Meetings

Tuesday Sept 10, 8:30am

Friday Sept 13, 7:00pm

This Week’s Koan

Blue Cliff Record #74

Jinniu and the Rice Pail

Venerable Jinniu (Golden Ox), when every meal time arrived, by himself in the front of the monk’s hall with the bucket of cooked rice did a dance and, with guffaws of great laughter, said, “Mr. Bodhisattvas, come and eat the cooked rice.”

Xuedou said, “Although he acted in this way, Jinniu was not being good hearted.”

A monk asked Changqing, “The man of old said, ‘Mr. Bodhisattvas, come and eat the cooked rice.’ So what was his intended aim?”

Qing said, “A great show causing celebration and praise of the meal.”


Guffaws of laughter underneath the shadow of the white cloud,
Holding on with both hands, he came handing it down and giving it to them.
If they are children of the golden-haired lion,
They would see the boastful swindle from three thousand li away.

Sept 1 – 7

We can be aware of an imperfection without making any problem about it. In other words, the mind becomes an embracing mind.
–Ajahn Sumedho, The Mind And The Way

Practice Meetings

Tuesday Sept 3, 8:30am

Friday Sept 6, 7:00pm

This Week’s Koan

Blue Cliff Record #37

Panshan Without Things

Panshan said: “The three realms are without things.  Where is there to seek mind?”


The three realms are without things.
Where is there to seek mind?
White clouds become a canopy.
The flowing spring makes a harp.
One song, two songs, there is no human comprehension.
After the rain, in the dark pool the autumn water is deep.