only Zen you find
on the tops of mountains
is the Zen
you bring up there.
one studies Zen, mountains are mountains and waters are
after a first glimpse into the truth of Zen, mountains are
no longer mountains
and waters are no longer waters;
mountains are once again mountains and
waters once again waters.
Master Tanzan, on the day of his death, called upon
to send a batch of identical postcards. Each one said simply:
"I am departing this world. There will be no further
traditional Zen Buddhist story
One moon shows in every pool; in every
pool, the one moon.
|Q: What does a Zen monk say to
a hot dog
A: Make me one with everything.
Q: What does the vendor say when the monk
asks for change
for his twenty-dollar bill?
A: Change comes from within.
think of the trees: they let the birds perch and fly,
intention to call them when they come and no longing for
return when they fly away. If people's hearts can be
like the trees, they will not be off the Way.
|If you understand, things are just as they
if you do not understand, things are just as they are.
you seek, how is that different from pursuing sound and
If you don't seek, how are you different from earth, wood,
You must seek without seeking.
The great way is not difficult for those who
have no preferences.
When love and hate are both absent, everything becomes clear
Make the smallest distinction, however, and heaven and earth
are set infinitely apart.
what is in
front of you,
what you learned is there.
is to suppose
that I am here
and you are out there.
you cannot find the truth right where you are,
where else do you expect to find it?
is like stepping onto a boat that is about to sail out to
sea and sink.
is not some kind of excitement, but concentration on our
usual everyday routine.
there is great doubt, there will be great awakening;
small doubt, small awakening, no doubt, no awakening.
not permit the events of your daily life to bind you,
but never withdraw yourself from them.
is like the moon reflected on the water. The moon does not
nor is the water broken. Although its light is wide and
great, the moon is reflected
even in a puddle an inch wide. The whole moon and the entire
are reflected in one dewdrop on the grass.
people who come to the Zen Center don't think a Cadillac
will do it,
but they think that enlightenment will.
Now they've got a new cookie, a new
only." "If only I could understand what
realization is all about, I would
"If only I could have at least a little enlightenment
I would be happy." Coming into a
practice like Zen, we bring our usual
notions that we are
going to get somewhere--become enlightened--and get all
cookies that have eluded us in the past.
whole life consists of this little subject looking outside
itself for an object.
But if you take something that
is limited, like body and mind, and look for
outside it, that something becomes an object and must be
So you have something limited looking for
something limited and you just end up
with more of the same
folly that has made you miserable.
|A monk asked Ts'ui-wei about the meaning of
Buddhism. Ts'ui-wei answered:
"Wait until there is no one around, and I will tell
you." Some time later the monk
approached Ts'ui-wei again, saying, "There is nobody
here now. Please answer
me." Ts'ui-wei led him out into the garden and
went over to the bamboo grove,
saying nothing. Still the monk did not understand, so
at last Ts'ui-wei said,
"Here is a tall bamboo; there is a short one!"
monks were arguing about the temple flag waving in the wind.
One said, "The flag moves." The other said,
"The wind moves."
They argued back and forth but could not agree.
Hui-neng, the Sixth Patriarch, said: "Gentlemen!
It is not the flag that moves. It is not the wind that
It is your mind that moves." The two monks were
struck with awe.
master of mind rather than mastered by mind.
is based on mind, is led by mind, is fashioned by mind.
If you speak and act with a polluted mind, suffering will
as the wheels of the oxcart follow the footsteps of the ox.
Everything is based on mind, is led by mind, is fashioned by
If you speak and act with a pure mind, happiness will follow
as a shadow clings to a form.
an ordinary person attains knowledge, that person is a sage;
when a sage attains understanding, that person is an
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When you are deluded and full of doubt,
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When you have realized understanding, even one word is too
masters in the art of living make little distinction between
their work and their play, their labor and their leisure,
and their bodies, their education and their recreation,
and their religion. They hardly know which is
which. They simply
pursue their vision of excellence in whatever they do,
to decide whether they are working or playing. To them they
are always doing both.
Zen Buddhist text
carpenter and his apprentice were walking together through a large
And when they came across a tall, huge, gnarled, old, beautiful
the carpenter asked his apprentice: "Do you know why
is so tall, so huge, so gnarled, so old and beautiful?"
looked at his master and said: "No. . .
why?" "Well," the carpenter said,
"because it is useless. If it had been useful it would
have been cut
long ago and made into tables and chairs, but because it is
could grow so tall and so beautiful that you can sit in its shade
once were two monks who lived in a woods. One
was committed to sitting under a particular tree
forever until he achieved enlightenment. He
sat there under the tree eating only the bugs and
spiders and lizards that happened to wander close
enough. He drank only the water that fell when
it rained. There were cob-webs hanging off of
him and he was dirty and smelly and not a pleasant,
There was a second monk who lived in that same
woods, who traveled around the woods and had a lot
of fun, who occasionally went into town and got
himself in a little bit of difficulty now and
then—he did have a weakness for the rice wine.
As chance would have it, a messenger of Brahma
happened to be passing through. Now the
tradition was that, if you recognized the messenger
of Brahma, you got to ask the messenger a
question. The old man under the tree
recognized the messenger, and he said, “Hah
there. I see you, messenger of Brahma. I
claim the answer to my question.”
The messenger said, “Oh, all right. What's
“How many more life-times must I sit under this
tree, meditating, before I experience
“Well,” said the messenger, “I'll go ask
Brahma and come back when I'm next this way and give
you the answer.”
Overhearing this, the second monk said, “Hey, I'd
kind of like the answer to that, too. That'd
be interesting to know.”
Years passed. As chance would have it, the
messenger again came back through and the old man
recognized him. The old man said, “Hah, I
recognize you, messenger. Have you brought my
answer from Brahma.”
The messenger says, “Yes, Brahma says you've got
four more lifetimes before you finally achieve
enlightenment.” The old man under the tree
said, “Ah, dung. Four more lifetimes of
sitting under this damn tree, amongst the spiders
and the lizards and the muck and the rain.
The second monk said, “How about me?”
The messenger said, “Brahma said you have ten
thousand more lifetimes before you finally 'get
The monk said, “Ten thousand more lifetimes?
Incredible! Ten thousand more lifetimes
enjoying this incredible world we live in?
Enjoying these woods, enjoying being alive!”
The messenger said, “No, no, you're there
related be Mike Young
|After ecstasy, the laundry.
down your opinion, your condition, your situation, then you
will not be
stuck. Always stay open. Working in a gas
station will be no problem, or
cleaning someone's house. If you are holding your
idea, "I want a high-class job,
or a house, or a car," then you will have a
problem. Zen means put everything down.
Then you can control any situation or condition.
|The man to whom Tao
Acts without impediment
Does not bother with his own interests
And does not despise
Others who do.
He does not struggle to make money
And does not make a virtue of poverty.
He goes his way
Without relying on others
And does not pride himself
On walking alone.
While he does not follow the crowd
He won't complain of those who do.
Rank and reward
Make no appeal to him;
Disgrace and shame
Do not deter him.
He is not always looking
For right and wrong
Always deciding "Yes" or "No."
tea, eating rice,
I pass my time as it comes,
Looking down at the stream,
Looking up at the mountain,
How serene and relaxed I feel indeed!
To Zen, time and
eternity are one.
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