Dharma Discourses

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Your Rightful Place

· Dharma Discourses, Open Access · ,

by Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Sensei

From The Perfection of Wisdom in 8,000 Lines
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The Buddha said, ‘It is as with a mother who has many children five, or ten, or twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, a hundred, a thousand. If she fell ill, they would all exert themselves to prevent their mother from dying, to keep her alive as long as possible, and to keep pain and unpleasantness away from her body.

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Build a True Sanctuary

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by Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Sensei

The World-Honored One Points to the Ground
Book of Serenity, Case 4
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Introduction
As soon as a single mote of dust arises, the whole earth is contained therein; with a single horse and a single lance, the land’s extended. Who is this person who can be master in any place and meet the source in everything?

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Born As The Earth

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by Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Sensei

Koans of the Way of Reality, Case 8

Main Case
A visiting student began to ask, “The truths of the Earth continually wait. They are not so concealed either. They’re calm, subtle, untransmissible by print.”
The teacher interrupted, saying, “Stop, stop! Is that Walt Whitman’s poem?”
The student said, “Yes it is.”
The teacher said, “Those are the words that describe his reality. What is the reality itself? Show me.”

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River Seeing River

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by John Daido Loori, Roshi

from Master Dogen’s Mountains and Rivers Sutra

The river is neither strong nor weak, neither wet nor dry, neither moving nor still,neither cold nor hot, neither being nor non-being, neither delusion nor enlightenment. Solidified, it is harder than diamond: who could break it? Melted, it is softer than milk: who could break it? This being the case we cannot doubt the many virtues realized by the river. We should then study that occasion when the rivers of the ten directions are seen in the ten directions. This is not a study only of the time when humans and gods see the river: there is a study of the river seeing the river. The river practices and verifies the river; hence, there is a study of the river speaking river. We must bring to realization the path on which the self encounters the self. We must move back and forth along, and spring off from, the vital path on which the other studies and fully comprehends the other.

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One Single Thing

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by John Daido Loori, Roshi

The Tao cannot be conveyed by either words or silence. In that state, which is neither speech nor silence, its transcendental nature may be apprehended.

—Chung Tzu

According to Chuang Tzu, the transcendental nature of reality cannot be apprehended and conveyed unless we can attain the state that is neither speech nor silence. Before we realize that state, we’re dealing only with the shadows, derivatives, and echoes of reality.

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Within The Vast Web

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by Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Sensei

Priest Xixian’s “I Am Watching”
True Dharma Eye, Case 227
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Main Case
Xixian Faan of Lushan was asked by a government officer, “When I took the city of Jinling with an army troop, I killed countless people. Am I at fault?” Xixian said, “I am watching closely.”

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In Accord with All Time

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by Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Sensei

Prajnatara
Transmission of the Light, Case 28
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Main Case
The Buddhist master Punyamitra said to Prajnatara, “Do you remember events of the past?” Prajnatara said, “I remember in a distant eon I was living in the same place as you. You were expounding great wisdom and I was reciting the most profound scripture. This event today is in conformity with past cause.”

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Body of Truth

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by Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Sensei

Xiangyan’s “Person Up a Tree”
True Dharma Eye, Case 243
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Main Case
Master Xiangyan said to the sangha, “What if you are hanging by your teeth from a tree on a thousand foot cliff, with no place for your hands to hold or your feet to step on? All of a sudden someone asks you, from below, the meaning of the Ancestor’s coming from India. If you respond, you will lose your life. If you don’t respond, you don’t do justice to the question. At just such a moment, what would you do?”

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Born in a Moment

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by Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Sensei

Hui Ch’ao Asks About Buddha
Blue Cliff Record, Case 7

Pointer
The thousand sages have not transmitted the single word before sound; if you have never seen it personally, it is as if it were worlds away. Even if you discern it before sound and cut off the tongues of everyone in the world, you’re still not a sharp person. Therefore it is said, “The sky can’t cover it; the earth can’t support it; empty space can’t contain it; sun and moon can’t illumine it.” Where there is no Buddha and you alone are called the Honored One, for the first time you’ve amounted to something. Otherwise, if you are not yet this way, penetrate through on the tip of a hair and release the great shining illumination; then in all directions you will be independent and free in the midst of phenomena; what- ever you pick up, there is nothing that’s not it. But tell me, what is attained that is so extraordinary?

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The Stone Lion

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by John Daido Loori, Roshi

Koans of the Way of Reality, Case 103

The Prolouge
Confined in a cage, up against a wall, pressed against barriers—if you linger in thought, holding back your potential, you will remain mired in fear and frozen in inaction. If, on the other hand, you advance fearlessly and without hesitation, you manifest your power as a competent adept of the Way. Passing through entanglements and barriers without hindrance, the time and season of great peace is attained. How do you advance fearlessly and without hesitation? Listen to the following.

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