Monthly Archives: August 2015

Aug 16 – 22

“Realization is not about you, the wave, realizing it is ocean. The ocean realizes itself in you and reveals itself to have never been just a wave. Nothing changes except the falling away of a false belief.” 

-Enza Vita

Practice Meetings

Friday Aug 21, 7:00pm

This Week’s Koan

Book of Serenity #96
“Kyûhô Does Not Acknowledge”

Kyûhô served Sekisô as his attendant. After Sekisô’s passing, the assembly wanted to make their head monk the abbot of the temple. Kyûhô would not acknowledge him.

He said, “Wait till I examine him. If he understands our late master’s spirit and intention, I will serve him as I served our late master.”

So he asked the head monk, “Our late master said, ‘Have been totally ceased; Have been totally extinguished; [Have become a cool land of desolation;] Have had only one awareness for ten thousand years; Have become cold ashes and a withered tree; [Have become a fragrant censer in an ancient shrine;] Have become a vertical stripe of white silk.’ Tell me, what sort of matter did he clarify with this?”

The head monk said, “He clarified the matter of absolute Oneness.”

Ho said, “If so, you have not yet understood our late master’s spirit.”

The head monk said, “Don’t you acknowledge me? Pass me incense.”

He lit the incense and said, “If I had not understood our late master’s spirit, I would not be able to pass away while the smoke of this incense rises.”

No sooner had he said this than he expired while sitting in zazen. Kyûhô caressed his back and said, “Dying while sitting or standing is not impossible. But you could not even dream of our late master’s spirit.”

Aug 9 – 15

“I was tired in the evening yesterday. I felt drained by the last days outer conflicts. I felt separated from life. Suddenly I heard the wind blowing through the trees outside my open window, whispering a silent and playful invitation: “Do you want to play? Do you want to join the dance?” This playful invitation again joined my heart and being with the Existential dance. I was again in a silent prayer and oneness with life.”

-Swami Dhyan Giten

Practice Meetings

Friday Aug 14, 7:00pm

This Week’s Koan

Book of Serenity #41
“Rakuho at his Deathbed”

When he was about to die, Rakuho addressed his assembly and said, “I have one matter to ask you about. If you say ‘yes’ to this, you are putting another head on your own. If you say ‘no,’ you are looking for life by cutting off your head.” 

The head monk said, “The green mountain always lifts up its legs; you don’t need to carry a lantern in the daylight.” 

Rakuho said, “What time is this to utter such a saying?” 

A senior monk named Genjô stepped forward and said, “Apart from these two ways, I beg you, Master, not to ask.” 

Rakuho said, “That’s not enough. Say some more.” 

Genjô said, “I cannot say it fully.” 

Rakuho said, “I don’t care whether or not you can say it fully.” 

Genjô said, “I feel just like an attendant who has nothing to respond to his master.”

That evening, Rakuho called Genjô to him and said, “Your response today had something quite reasonable. You have to realize what our late master said, ‘There are no dharmas before the eyes, Yet consciousness is before the eyes. IT is not the Dharma before the eyes, IT cannot be reached by eyes and ears.’ Which phrase is the guest? Which phrase is the host? If you can sort them out, I will transmit the bowl and robe to you.” 

Genjô said, “I don’t understand.” 

Rakuho said, “You must understand.” 

Genjô said, “I really don’t understand.” 

Rakuho uttered a kaatz and said, “Miserable, miserable!” 

[Another] monk asked, “What would you like to say, Master?” 

Rakuho said, “The boat of compassion is not rowed over pure waves. It’s been wasted labor releasing wooden geese down the precipitous strait.”