Form is Form

Windows were shakin’All night in my dreamEverything was exactlyThe way that it seemed.- Bob Dylan, “Highlands”Question: The other day I was reading Zen Mind Beginner’s Mind … in it Suzuki-roshi says: (I’ll condense it & paraphrase) form is emptiness and emptiness is form…. Then further down he says…”fortunately” our teaching goes on to say form is form and emptiness is emptiness: Here there is no dualism.Most people talk about form is emptiness…emptiness is form…but, I have never heard anyone … [Read more...]

Fire Boy Comments: What is the Self?

This post continues working with the fire boy koan that’s been hot these past several days around Transforming Through Play.  This koan is long and rich so that it collapses the whole spiritual journey into a moment – setting out on the road, an unrequited opportunity, years spent wandering that turn out to have been the straightest path, and finally, resolution. Dogen uses this koan to make three points: 1. Getting stuck in an idea of the buddhadharma (like “mind itself is Buddha” or the contemp … [Read more...]

Fire Boy Seeks Fire

This post continues the thread from the previous post with a reflection on the fire boy koan. See below for the koan although I'll be first offering you Dogen's set up for this koan from his Extensive Record, #15.Let's get right into the old boy's words (in italics) and mine (in plain font):The seed of buddhas arises from conditions, buddha dharma arises from the outset.  Buddhas too immersed and leaping in the muck of life - kids to drive around, a job to do, bills to pay. The conditions are no … [Read more...]

Fire Boy Seeks Fire

My twelve-year old son, dog Bodhi, and I just got back from sledding at the big hill in the woods. Incredible almost-full moon lit the hill, the path back, and the tracks of a wild fox that had passed through very recently. Sledding with my son and dog is a contact sport with the three of us usually winding up in a pile somewhere in the weeds along the hillside. At one point my son flew off his sled and his head was so completely buried in the snow that he appeared to have lost it. A wonderful … [Read more...]

The Sun in Drag

Here's a poem by Hafiz translated by Daniel Ladinsky in The Gift: Poems by Hafiz the Great Sufi Master.You are the Sun in drag.You are God hiding from yourself.Remove all the ‘mine’ – that is the veil.Why ever worry about anything?Listen to what your friend HafizKnows for certain:The appearance of this worldIs a Magi’s brilliant trick, though its affairs areNothing into nothing.You are a divine elephant with amnesiaTrying to live in an antHole.Sweetheart, O sweetheartYou are God in Drag!-- Hafiz … [Read more...]

Dogen's Extensive Record #297: Enlightenment Day Dharma Hall Discourse (1248)The snowball hits! The snowball hits! It hits the cold plum so that it blossoms in the snow.On this eighth day of the twelfth month,The bright star in heaven and a wooden ladle on the eartharrive before spring. Offered up again on this eighth day of the twelfth month (2008) as five more inches of snow fall on Transforming Through Play Temple. … [Read more...]

Buddha’s Enlightenment

Excerpt from Case 1, Record of Transmission of Lightby Keizan Jokin-zenji Shakyamuni Buddha saw the morning star and realized enlightenment.  He said, "I together with all beings and the Great Earth attain the Way." At age nineteen, Shakyamuni leapt over the palace walls in the dead of night and shaved off his hair.  After that he practiced austerities for six years.  Subsequently, he sat on the indestructible seat, so immobile that spiders spun webs in his eyebrows and magpies built a nest on to … [Read more...]

Todd Snider – Can’t Complain little out of place, a little out of tune, sorta lost in space racin' the moon.... … [Read more...]

More Still on Flowers and Weeds

By the way, I've been updating somethings over on the right sidebar, especially the offerings in 2009 right here in beautiful ex-urban White Bear and also my travels for the book.  We've got just one more Dogen study session until March and most Thursday evenings from now until then we'll be having open zazen (that means anybody can stop by, just shoot me an email) and tea afterwards. Okay ... now some more on Genjokoan from the session this past Thursday.No matter what you say about it, flowers … [Read more...]