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Wednesday, 06 June 2018 18:08


At the end of the Heart Sutra we chant Gya tei Gya tei.... -  which means together we go beyond, across the river, to the far Shore. The far shore in this context means Nirvana.

What we need to understand is that zazen is the entire ground; this shore, the far shore, the ground beneath the river.

Therefore do not stagnate in emptiness. Wear neither the mask of the self nor the mask of false equanimity. Just allow everything to flood through you, like light.

 

 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 06 June 2018 18:11
 
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Friday, 11 May 2018 15:38

 

If we see trees in a field, to the human eye, they are separate. However, their roots are completely entangled. So, if one of them is stricken, the others will support it, they will not let it fall.

In wide, open awareness, the mind flows into the body and so the body flows: into the ground, into the sky.

So all things are lifted up.

 

 

 

Last Updated on Friday, 11 May 2018 15:43
 
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Friday, 11 May 2018 14:27


“A teacher and his student were standing by the shore. In the distance was a boat. The teacher said to the student ‘forgetting about your mind for the moment, point to the boat’. The student pointed to the boat. The teacher then said ‘forgetting about the boat for the moment, point to your mind’. The student pointed to the boat again”

In dualism, we imagine the mind comes first, occupying an unspecified space, within which the world then appears. But truly, mind and world are the same illumination. But it is not the great illumination.

Dogen said that when we see water, fish see shimmering palaces. Demons see blood. Gods see strings of pearls. But the eyes seeing ‘water’ are without limit, and so the powers of expression of ‘water’ are without limit. This is the great illumination. Likewise, ‘mountains’. Likewise, ‘thinking’.

 

 

 

Last Updated on Friday, 11 May 2018 14:30
 
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Wednesday, 18 April 2018 08:25


When we chant form is emptiness, we don’t mean that things are illusory. We mean that everything is both particular and universal, like the waves and the ocean. So everything matters.

When we touch one person, we are touching that person, not someone else. But, at the same time, we are touching all beings. Likewise, when we are touched by one person, we are touched by all beings. EveryThing matters.

So, when the birds of our thinking arise, whether their plumage is radiant or dowdy or as black as pitch, we should not cage them in our love or hate but

give them the sky



 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 18 April 2018 08:28
 
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Wednesday, 18 April 2018 08:21


In the Avalokiteshvara chapter of the Shobogenzo, there is a famous exchange between Master Ungan and Master Dogo about how best to describe the bodhisattva of compassion.

When asked by Dogo, Ungan describes Avalokiteshvara in a particular way. Dogo then says “your words describe the situation nicely, but only about eighty or ninety percent”, and then gives his own description.

Dogo’s description seems better, but if we think that he’s described the situation perfectly, or at least better than Ungan, we’re missing the point.

There’s always something missing. And because of that, the Dharma will not perish.

It is not that there aren’t teachers and students, but we need to understand what a teacher is.

He’s not someone who shares his knowledge. That’s a scholar. Neither is he someone who shares his wisdom. That’s a guru. It’s not that there isn’t a difference between teacher and student, but only in function, not essence.

They are like 2 points, which delineate a whole person, a great person. This real person fully occupies the Buddhist space, moving forward and backward, according to circumstance. Sometimes he is the teacher and student. Sometimes the sangha. Sometimes the whole world.

The teacher is not a great person, but sometimes he is part of a great person. The responsibility of a teacher is to teach with great vigour for the rest of his life. Not from his own vigour, which is puny, nor from the vigour of his student, which is likewise puny, but from the vigour and expression of this great person, which is inexhaustible.


 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 18 April 2018 08:25
 
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