Monk In The World

To be a monk is to have time to practice for your transformation and healing. And after that to help with the transformation and healing of other people.

Thich Nhat Hanh

Sunday, January 17, 2010


Dosho left us with this to ruminate about on our cushions this weekend, as he went off to the Alaska.

I'm off to Anchorage for the weekend in a little bit and am leaving you, dear reader,  something to play with - same thing in brief that we'll be investigating with delight this weekend - the koan of zazen. Here's how Katagiri Roshi put it: 

I often emphasize that zazen is a koan we have to digest in our whole life. Zazen is not the simple issue you have thought. “Simple issue you have thought” means you usually think zazen is a means to discover peace. At that time, you never have the great opportunity to digest zazen exactly in your life….If you misunderstand zazen you misunderstand Buddhism. Even though it is difficult, you have to practice zazen in the appropriate way. That’s why Dogen-zenji wrote ninety-five fascicles of Shobogenzo, explaining the meaning of zazen, the quality of zazen, the significance of zazen.

Sit down, Shut up, look at the wall!

Again, like I mentioned last night, that is the simplicity of this practice. But this simplicity must be wrapped in Meaning, Quality and Significance.

Now our normal western minds would say, "Ok, let me just try to figure this thing out, let me try to figure out what the meaning of this "looking at a wall" has for my life, let me just figure out the significance of this and then I will know it's meaning. So let me just think about this for awhile."


Sit down! Shut up! Look at the wall!


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