Monthly Archives: March 2014

Mar 16 – 20

If you look deeply into the palm of your hand, you will see your parents and all generations of your ancestors. All of them are alive in this moment. Each is present in your body. You are the continuation of each of these people.
 
-Thich Nhat Hanh

Practice Meetings

Thursday Mar 20, 8:30am

Friday Mar 21, 7:00pm

This Week’s Koan

Blue Cliff Record #36

Changsha Went For A Walk

Changsha one day returned from hiking on the mountain and came to the Leader at the gate.

The Leader-Seat asked, “Venerable, what places have you been going to and coming from?”

Sha said, “I’m coming from hiking on the mountain.”

The Leader-Seat said, “You arrived, where did you come from?”

Sha said, “In the beginning I left following the fragrant grasses; and then I returned chasing the falling blossoms.”

The Seat said, “That is very much like the meaning of Spring.”

Sha said, “It even excels the Autumn dew drops on the lotus.”

Verse
The great earth is broken into fine dust.
Whose eyes are not opened?
“In the beginning I left following the fragrant grasses;
and then I returned chasing the falling blossoms.”
A feeble crane raises up a cold tree.
A wild ape howls in an ancient tower.
The infinite meaning of Changsha.
Bah!

Mar 9 – 15

A monk asked, “What is Buddha?”
Chongshou said, “What is Buddha?”
The monk asked, “What is understanding?”
Chongshou said, “Understanding is not understanding.”
 
-Zen’s Chinese Heritage

Practice Meetings

Thursday Mar 13, 8:30am

Friday Mar 14, 7:00pm

This Week’s Koan

Book of Serenity #87

Sozan: With or Without

Sozan came to Isan and asked, “I have heard that you said, ‘Words of being and words of non-being are just like wisteria wound around a tree.’ If suddenly the tree falls down and the wisteria withers, where will the words go?”

Isan burst into great laughter.

Sozan said, “I sold my clothes and other belongings, and made an arduous journey of one thousand miles to come to you. Why does Your Reverence make light of me?”

Isan called his attendant and said, “Bring some money and give it to this reverend monk for his travel expenses.”

Finally he said, “Some day a one-eyed dragon will let you open your eyes.”

Later Sozan went to Myôshô and told him about this. Myôshô said, “I can say that Isan is completely right, but he did not meet one who could appreciate him.”

Sozan asked again, “If the tree falls down and the wisteria withers, where will the words go?’

Myôshô said, “It would make Isan laugh again all the more.”

Upon hearing this, Sozan gained realization.

Then he said, “From the beginning, there was a sword behind Isan’s laughter.”

Mar 2 – 8

The only foundation stone of practice is renunciation.
The only gateway of practice is faith.
The only approach to practice is compassion.
 
-Jamgon Kongtrul, Creation and Completion

Practice Meetings

Thursday Mar 6, 8:30am

Friday Mar 7, 7:00pm

This Week’s Koan

Gateless Gate #37

Guishan’s Karma Consciousness 

Isan asked Kyôzan:

“Suppose a man asks you, saying, ‘All living beings are tossed in a vast karma-consciousness, and have no foundation to rely upon.’ How would you check him?”

Kyôzan replied:

“If such a monk appears, I call out to him, ‘Mr. So-and-so!’ When he turns his head, instantly I say, ‘What is this?’ If he hesitates, then I say to him, ‘Not only is there a vast karma-consciousness, but also there is no foundation to rely upon.'”

Isan said, “Good.”