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.

"Agree that the formal practice requirements appear minimal. Any dedicated practitioner will exceed this--in my ..."

Enlightenment in Dispute: Standards for Zen ..."
"I was not speaking of your center per se, but rather SZBA in general. Surprised ..."

Enlightenment in Dispute: Standards for Zen ..."
"Hi, Lay teachers are not included, regrettably imv, in the SZBA. In our in-house Nebraska ..."

Enlightenment in Dispute: Standards for Zen ..."
"The ango requirement pretty much cuts out lay teachers with families. Is that really what ..."

Enlightenment in Dispute: Standards for Zen ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.