Essays in zen buddhism

My hut isn’t quite six feet across
surrounded by pines bamboos and mountains
an old monk hardly has room for himself
much less for a visiting cloud

Standing outside my pointed-roof hut
who’d guess how spacious it is inside
a galaxy of worlds is there
with room to spare for a zazen cushion

My mind outshines the autumn moon
not that the autumn moon isn’t bright
but once full it fades
no match for my mind
always full and bright
as to what the mind is like
why don’t you tell me?



WHAT DOES THE BUDDHA LOOK LIKE?
—Daoquan (Tao-ch’uan), a 12th century Chan master, wrote a verse:
Make it out of clay or wood or silk
paint it blue or green and gild it with gold
but if you think a buddha looks like this
the Goddess of Mercy (Guanyin) will die from laughter.


TEACHERS AND GOATS
Master Mi-an said, "The reason this [Chan] path has not been flourishing in recent years is nothing else but the fact that those who are acting as teachers of others do not have their eyes and brains straight and true. They have no perception of their own, but just keep fame and fortune and gain and loss in their hearts. Deeply afraid that others will say they have no stories, they mistakenly memorize stories from old books, letting them ferment in the back of their minds so they won’t lack for something to say if seekers ask them questions. They are like goats crapping: the minute their tails go up, innumerable dung balls plop to the ground!"


THE TRUE SELF
Zen master Fushan Fayuan (991-1067) entered the Dharma hall and addressed the monks, “I won’t speak any more about the past and present. I just offer the matter before you now in order for you to understand.” A monk then asked, “What is the matter before us now?” Fushan said, “Nostrils.” The monk asked, “What is the higher affair?” Fushan replied, “The pupils of the eyes.”


PUT IT DOWN
Fushan Fayuan said to Daowu Zhen: The case of those who, while their study has not yet arrived on the Way, still flash their learning and run off at the mouth with intellectual understanding, using eloquence and sharpness of tongue to gain victories, is like outhouses painted vermillion—it only increases the odor.


FIRST PRINCIPLE
A monk asked master Zhu’an Shigui (1083-1146), “What is the first principle?” Shigui said, “What you just asked is the second principle.” [Phenomena!]


WHAT DO YOU CALL IT?
Case 43 of the Wumenguan tells that Chan master Shoushan Xingnian (926-93) (whom scholars credit as real founder of the Linji Chan school) once held up a bamboo staff before the assembly and said, “If you say it’s a staff, you’re grasping at words; if you say it’s not a staff, you’re turning away in nonsense. What do you say?”

In fairness, it is also post hoc reasoning to assume that very disturbed individuals who deteriorate rapidly after attending LGAT seminars, do so because of their participation. Those in need of psychotherapy should not participate in LGAT programs. They may be too intense for the emotionally fragile. It is not without good reason that Landmark Forum requires prospective participants to sign a statement declaring that, to the best of their knowledge, they are mentally and physical well. This gives notice that the program is not for the mentally or physically unstable. It also may protect Landmark from legal action should a client have a breakdown after attending the Forum, but there is no guarantee that such a signed statement would necessary exculpate Landmark should it be charged with causing someone's mental or physical breakdown.

Essays in zen buddhism

essays in zen buddhism

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