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Photo by Art Terry

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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Elegy for the Giant Tortoises

· Poems · ,

by Margaret Atwood

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Photo by Michelle Legere

Porcupine

· Articles & Essays · ,

by Linda Hogan

For years, I’ve seen the dark old porcupine lumbering like a sleepwalker along the edge of the dirt road. Late at night, she steps aside from car lights and from the cloudy dust of tires.

This is not the porcupine of poems, the one that eats the hand-salted shovel handle and is killed because it desires to swallow what men have touched with their working hands. It is not one of the sleek young porcupines I have seen in the tops of winter trees, silent, their dark eyes looking down over the cold white forests, nor is it one of the fast ones who leave their quills in the muzzles of dogs.

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Photo by John Daido Loori

Sacred Wildness

· Articles & Essays · ,

by John Daido Loori Roshi

The river never speaks, yet it knows how brilliance. When you neither let go nor hold to find its way to the Great Ocean. The mountains have no words, yet the ten thousand things are born here. Where the river finds its way, you can perceive the essence. Where the mountain gives birth to the ten thousand things, you can realize the action. When the mind moves, images appear. Even if the mind does not move, this is not yet true freedom. You must first take off the blinders and set down the pack if you are to enter the sacred space. When you let go, even river rocks and brambles are radiant. When you hold on, even the mani jewel loses its on, you are free to ride the clouds and follow the wind.

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A Collaborative Intelligence

· Articles & Essays · ,

by Susan Griffin

Yes, poor Louis, Death has found thee. No palace walls or life-guards, gorgeous tapestries or gilt buckram of stiffest ceremonial could keep him out; but he is here, here at thy very life-breath, and will extinguish it. Thou, whose whole existence hitherto was a chimera and scenic show, at length becomest a reality: sumptuous Versailles burst asunder, like a dream into void Immensity; Time is done and all the scaffolding of time falls wrecked with hideous clangor round thy soul: the pale Kingdoms yawn open: there must thou enter, naked, all unking’d….

—Thomas Carlyle, The French Revolution

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Photo by Vladimir Shibanov

The Holy Spirit as Wild Spirit

· Articles & Essays · ,

by Matthew Fox

Life is wild. Life is a wild ride, a ride between the highs and the lows, the mountains and the valleys, the via positiva and the via negativa. Nature is wild. We come from the wild—from the surging seas of the ocean, from the heat-blasting, hydrogen-exploding sun, from the supernovas bursting, from galaxies expanding, from the cooking fireball: We are made of wild stuff. Carbon, oxygen, sulphur, magnesium—we are very, very combustible. There is fire inside of us as well as water. There is revolution as well as peace. There is the familiar, and there is the shockingly new.

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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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