Dharma Discourses

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Natural, Vivid, Alive

· Dharma Discourses, Open Access · ,

by Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Sensei

Ordinary Mind is Tao
Gateless Gate, Case 19

Main Case
Chao-chou once asked Nanchuan, “What is Tao?” Nanchuan answered, “Ordinary mind is Tao.” “Then should we direct ourselves toward it or not?” asked Chao-chou. “If you try to direct yourself toward it, you go away from it,” answered Nanchuan. Chao-chou continued, “If we do not try, how can we know that it is Tao?” Nanchuan replied, “Tao does not belong to knowing or not-knowing. Knowing is illusion; not-knowing is blankness. If you really attain to Tao of no-doubt, it is like the great void, so vast and boundless. How, then, can there be right and wrong in the Tao?” At these words Chao-chou was suddenly enlightened.

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Photo by Rob Wyatt

The Unexpected Rears Its Head

· Dharma Discourses, Open Access · ,

by Konrad Ryushin Marchaj, Sensei

Yangshan’s Declaration
Book of Serenity, Case 90

Introduction
‘I alone am sober’—this is drunkenness indeed. Yangshan speaks of a dream just like when awake. But say, as I say this and you hear it, tell me, is this wakefulness or is this a dream?

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Photo by Ricardo Sanz Cortiella

Transmigrating, For Now

· Dharma Discourses, Open Access · ,

by Konrad Ryushin Marchaj, Sensei

Ruiyan’s “Constant Principle”
Book of Serenity, Case 75

Introduction
Even as you call it ‘thus,’ it’s already changed. Where knowledge doesn’t reach, avoid speaking of it. Here, is there any investigating or not? 

Case
Ruiyan asked Yantou, “What is the fundamental constant principle?”
Yantou said, “Moving.”
Ruiyan said, “When moving, what then?”
Yantou said, “You don’t see the fundamental constant principle.”
Ruiyan stood there thinking.
Yantou said, “If you agree, you are not yet free of sense and matter: if you don’t agree, you’ll be forever sunk in birth and death.” 

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Photo by David R. Harper

The Original Question

· Dharma Discourses, Open Access · ,

by Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Sensei

Zhao Zhou’s “Indestructible Nature”
True Dharma Eye, Case 288

Main Case
Zhao Zhou was once asked by a monastic, “Before the world existed, there was already the original nature. When the world is destroyed, true nature is not destroyed. What is this indestructible nature?”

Zhao Zhou said, “Four great elements and five skandhas.”

The monastic said, “They are destroyed. What is this indestructible nature?”

Zhao Zhou said, “Four great elements and five skandhas.”

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