rivers into islands

rivers into islands

Sunday, August 21, 2016


ZEN ZA WILD GRASS offers a story about yourself.  You wear the appearance of a river, Earth, a star and more, and yet, that wonder is, perhaps, still distanced.  But when this story ends, no matter how long it takes, there is no long a “you.”  Then, there is something that has never been hidden, that is always unhidden.  Even then, there are many quirks and shadows and ouches and small and large graces still, but there is no longer suffering.  There is no life or death.  Sky still looks blue and grass looks green, but they are not.  They are you.  Whole world and worlds and stars and ocean and birds and piles of dead leaves and moon and more moons are “you” and “mind.”  To arrive in such a terrain where you already are, and then arrive again and again, the task is to taste more than to think and know.  Then there are no more puzzling gong-an/koans/kong-ans, no more buddha, no more Zen.  Zen is to study self, but mainly the large written Zen record is what not to do.  Zen is worthwhile because it it clean--there is no dust in it--but in the end, which right now, which is past,present and future, fall in-between the letters of words or concepts, and open the experience of who you are.  

There has never been such a thing as “Buddha,” so do not understand it as Buddha. 
“Buddha” is a medicine for emotional people; if you have no disease, you should 
not take medicine. When medicine and disease are both dissolved, it is like pure water; 
buddhahood is like a sweet herb mixed in the water, or like honey mixed in the water, 
most sweet and delicious. And yet the pure water itself is not affected.

Thomas Cleary, The Five Houses Of Zen, p.9

Its light penetrates everywhere and engulfs everything, so why does it not know itself?

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Sun Roams Bottom Of Sea

Lance Kinseth, Ocean of Zen III: Sun Roams Bottom Of Sea, 2016

The sun roams the bottom of the sea.
Shinkichi Takahashi, from Afterimages

SWIMMING ON THE SURFACE paradoxically touches the bottom.  Each everyday event is rooted in the bottom/vast source--small-as-vast.
          (after Dogen Zenji, Kaiin Zammai, “On the Meditative State That Bears the Seal of the Ocean” )

Which is to say, obversely, vast-as-small, Gutei, Book of Equanimity, case 84 states:
The ocean of ten-thousand worlds is engulfed in a hair-tip. 


Saturday, August 13, 2016

Tuesday, August 2, 2016


1. BY LEGEND, SIDDHARTHA experienced realization upon seeing the morning star.  All of the sutras and commentary mean nothing against this experience.

2. So Man Gong, seeing many stars, asks, What is your star?

3. Even blind,  seeing no stars, What star do you experience?

What does Siddhartha, Man Gong, and the blind adept experience?