by Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Sensei
Hui Ch’ao Asks About Buddha
Blue Cliff Record, Case 7
Pointer Read more
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?
WHEN I MET DAIDO, I WAS living in a yoga ashram and working part time in an art gallery. Daido would come into the gallery to have his photographs framed. He had just resigned from International Flavors and Fragrances and was starting to go into the advertising business. He needed a model for a shoot that he was doing for a little department store in Middletown; I told him I had worked as a model before and could help him. Read more
by John Daido Loori, Roshi
Koans of the Way of Reality, Case 103
The Prolouge Read more
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.
Editor’s Note: The following are entries from a journal Daido Roshi kept shortly after attending a photography workshop led by Minor White at the Hotchkiss School, prior to his involvement in Zen. The Images are roughly from this period, too.
The last record was concluded and this one started because of the transitions that took place during the 1971 Minor White Hotchkiss Workshop. I shall attempt to record those things that are remembered from the workshop and identify them as such. Other information or records will be dated at the time they were recorded.
Learning how to turn the conscious thinking mind off and let the inner mind, the feelings, work free and open seems to be one of the major keys to heightened awareness.
—May 28, 1971 Read more
Gatha on Shaving the Head
In this drifting, wandering world, Read more
it is very difficult to cut off our human ties.
Now I cast them away, and enter true activity.
It is in this way that I express my gratitude.
As I shave my head, I vow to live a life of
simplicity, service, stability, selflessness
and to accomplish the Buddha’s Way.
May I manifest my life with wisdom and compassion
and realize the Tathagata’s true teaching.
Commentary on Master Dogen’s “Teachings of the Insentient”
Our usual way of understanding the insentient is that they are objects that make up the physical world, objects that are non-living, lacking consciousness or perception. They are stones, stars, atoms, mountains and rivers—the inanimate. On the other hand, we under- stand the sentient as the direct antithesis of the insentient; namely, as conscious, aware beings capable of responding to feeling and perception. Master Dogen’s view is nondual. He sees the sentient and insentient as two parts of the same reality. He regards them as inseparable, as he does with all dualities. Read more
Opening Remarks to the Zen Training Weekend
Welcome to Zen Mountain Monastery. This weekend in the Zen training workshop we’ll be looking at the basis of Zen training. We’ll be discussing the philosophy, the underlying theories. There will be plenty of opportunity for questions and answers, but by far the most critical thing that will be happening is the experiential aspect of the training. Each part of the day is scheduled and everything that you experience this weekend will be poin ing to the same place. The whole point of Zen training, all of the eighty-four thousand subtle gestures that we do, have one point and one point only, and that is the realization of the self. Read more
The insentient speak in a language that we are unable to understand but some- how are able to feel. It’s way of teaching us is not rational but rather visceral. Listen to the voice of rock and water. What does it say? Is it one voice or is it many? A chorus of voices, perhaps. Can you hear its song? It sings its ancient story—a timeless story of life unfixed, impermanent, in a constant state of becoming. Read more