Don’t light a lamp—there’s no oil in the house.It’s a shame to want a light.I have a way to bless poverty:Just feel your way along the wall.Yinyuan Longqi Blessed are the poor, for their's is the realm of God"Jesus A few years ago, I took lessons in West African Drumming, learning songs from Ghana and other countries in the region. Learning these songs I was instructed in a rhythmic part which, when mixed with the other parts, would create poly-rhythmic cross rhythms that to
This primary intuition of the strangeness of it all, of our single selves as unspeakably fragile and brilliant observers of a grandeur for which we have tried through all our generations to find words, this is the experience that seems to me to underlie religion
-- Marilyn Robinson, Credo, Harvard Divinity Bulletin
But there's one thing you can't lose
And it's that feel
You can pawn your watch and chain
But not that feel
It always comes and finds you
It will always he
Layman Pang was once selling bamboo baskets. Coming down off a bridge, he stumbled and fell. When his daughter, Lingzhao, saw this she ran to her father’s side and threw herself down.
“What are you doing?” cried the Layman.
“I saw Daddy fall to the ground, so I’m helping,” replied Lingzhao.
“Luckily no one was looking,” remarked the Layman. This is a koan that comes from the Zen famous Pang family. Layman Pang, husband and father, penned the famous enlightenment verse: Wha
Wherever you are, just take the role of host, and that place will be a true place. --Linji Sometimes I feel like I was raised by wolves, outside of what humans know, exiled from a world of convention, the world of human invention, houses, cars, the Rotarians. This begins to feel like a spot far and away, apart. In exile too long I wonder just where it is that I belong. There is, in life, a deep abiding desire to belong, to find oneself in the course of things - to find the u
“Stop the sound of the distant temple bell.” --Zen Koan Often it seems as if life is an ordeal, even a punishment, to be endured. SomeTHING outside of myself seems relentless in its assault. As a child someone is teasing and we cry to some adult - Make him stop! Or there is a jackhammer across the street hacking away at the hard asphalt. It can even be as close as our thoughts: That earworm, the 70’s faux band, The Archies, singing their unmentionable hit, ______________; u
A student asked Zhaozhou, “Does a dog have Buddha nature or not? Zhaozhou answered, “No!”
On a regular basis I have people asking me “what is a koan and how do I use it?” That seems to be one of those questions that has an endless stream of answers. Life meets Life While on the Open Door Meditation retreat last week, I made friends with a beautiful mare. On a walk I noticed her in the sun lite paddock that she shared with a mule, a donkey, and two goats. Imagining myself
Continuously renewed immediacy, not receding memory of the Divine Touch, lies at the base of religious living. Let us explore together the secret of a deeper devotion, a more subterranean sanctuary of the soul, where the Light Within never fades, but burns, a perpetual flame, where the wells of living water of divine revelation rise up continuously, day by day and hour by hour, steady and transfiguring. Thomas Kelly, A Testament of Devotion
Two years ago I met Vincent Van G
We join spokes together in a wheel,
but it is the center hole
that makes the wagon move.
We shape clay into a pot,
but it is the emptiness inside
that holds whatever we want.
We hammer wood for a house,
but it is the inner space
that makes it livable.
We work with being,
but non-being is what we use.
-Tao Te Ching, Chapter 11, trans. Stepthen Mitchell When you’ve lost everything, what is there? In honest moments you confront your losses and wonder, “What’s left?
What is the heart-mind of the ancient buddha?
Flowing grasses. Forests of many colors. As the sun rises, and the bird calls. the ancient buddha.
Sensing the smell of the fresh rain on the grass, the ancient buddha.
As the hawk swoops down on her prey, the ancient buddha.
You greet your lover in the morning, the ancient buddha.
Eggs in the skillet, juice on the table, the ancient buddha
What is this seamlessness? What if life was lived? without division?
A student said to Yunmen, "The light serenely illumines the whole universe..."
before he had finished Yunmen interrrupted him, "Aren't those Zhangzhou's words?
The student said, "Yes they are."
Yunmen said, "You have misspoken."
Later, the teacher Sixin took up the story and asked, "Tell me, where did the student slip up? Back in seminary they taught us to use appropriate quotations in our sermons. You know the style. The preacher revs it up a bit, approachi