Buddha Crosses the Flood







In Vine of Obstacles practice meetings, a passage from The Connected Discourses of the Buddha has been coming up for me frequently as I meet with Viner students. After stumbling to find the right quote in my unreliable memory, I finally did a search to find a deity of stunning beauty questioning the Buddha like this:

“How, dear sir, did you cross the flood?”

“By not halting, friend, and by not straining I crossed the flood.”

“But how is it, dear sir, that by not halting and by not straining you crossed the flood?”

“When I came to a standstill, friend, then I sank; but when I struggled, then I got swept away. It is in this way, friend, that by not halting and by not straining, I crossed the flood.”

For one thing, the interaction says a lot about the teacher’s role in the teacher-student relationship. “Hey, swimmer, looks like you’re halting.” Or “Hey, swimmer, looks like you’re straining.”

And in recovery from “minor” surgery, it speaks to me about how to heal – without halting and without straining.

And how do we find what’s halting and what’s straining?

Halting and straining.

So back to the couch.

On Receiving Inka Shomei from James Myoun Ford Roshi
Dogen Did Not Practice Shikantaza and Even Had a Gaining Idea
A Goose in a Bottle – How Will You Be Free?
The Deeply Settled Heart: Home-based Practice Period Invitation
  • Harry

    Get well soon, Dosho. Glad it seems to have went okay.

    The trick is to walk ON the flood. Surely you’ve developed that little siddhi after all this zafu pounding?

    Still reading a bit about the samatha jhanas. Those guys get siddhis. It’s not fair.