Monday, March 23, 2009

thoughts and sitting

White clouds hug lonely rocks 

Oomaori Sogen Roshi. Late Autumn 1975.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Another quote

Dosho Port on his blog quotes Anderson quoting ...And so do I, I quote...(bad old habit of a scholar I am) Anyway in Warm Smiles from Cold Mountains, you'll find this:

When Kishizawa Ian, Suzuki Roshi's second teacher, was a young monk, he was sitting in meditation on a rainy day and heard the sound of a distant waterfall. Then the wooden han was struck. He went to his teacher (maybe Oka Sotan) and asked, "What is the place where the sound of the rain, the waterfall, and the han meet?"His teacher replied, "True eternity still flows."And then he asked, "What is this true eternity that still flows?""It is like a bright mirror, permanently smooth," said his teacher."Is there anything beyond this?" asked the young monk."Yes," responded his teacher."What is beyond this?" inquired the young monk.And his teacher replied, "Break the mirror. Come, and I'll meet you."

Veil of rain

Wooden han echoing

Wet drizzle soaking everything

making or breaking a mirror

how could we have ever parted?

In the mind seal

ten thousand drops

and sounds whirling

it arises

they arise

what is left to break?

Kodo Sawaki (left) and Oka Sotan (right).

the searchless state

let a mind arise that does not cling to anything (Diamond sutra) Tenryu Tekisui

Dogen has a great thing to say about this whole issue of noticing what you call enlightenment, in Genjo Koan he writes this:

To carry yourself forward and experience ten thousand things is delusion. Ten
thousand things coming forth and experiencing themselves is awakening.

I often tell people that eyes do not see themselves but in the activity of seeing, brightness appears. How can anybody perceive the non-dual? The non dual can only be fully achieved when forgotten, when the world and the countless forms are seen from the non dual itself. In these days, as in the early days, people want a glimpse, a taste, an opportunity to enjoy the experience. Name it, you have lost it. Give it a taste, it's gone.We don't have Buddha nature, we ARE Buddha nature. We don't have to find it, just express it. And its expression is unseen, unoticed. All that happens is that people's awakening hits you in the face and your own delusions too. When you see others as Buddhas and are aware of your countless shortcomings, then it is a good start.Enlightemenment is like an itch. Scratch it on and on... generate the idea of a doer, a seeker, scratch further, make a teacher, find a holy place, a sacred source of fulfillment, scratch further...until, you are fed up with the scratching activity. You just stop scatching. And then, you realize there is no itch. Everything is fine, as it is from day one. Nothing lacking, nothing really. You needed all this frentic scratching to get to the point where you give up your expectations.Sorry to disappoint you. But that is what the path is about, to break your heart and make you loose every single string of hope. People might be willing to sell you enlightenment. Then go for it. You will just make a long journey longer and scratch on. The real stuff is not for sale. It is yours already. You are it already.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

What is it?

this ever changing
the pearl

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Issan Dorsey's impossible portrait

Issan Dorsey, sometime in 1933- September 6,1990, was a gay zen priest and teacher and ex-prostitute, drug addict and female impersonator. He established the Maitri Hospice  at Hartford Stret Zen Center for people dying of AIDS during the first spread of the epidemics in the 80s. He was not a saint and never  pretented to be anything but what he was that was ungraspable, beyong thinking. A fucked up life sitting as  a living Buddha. Both and none of them.  A traditionnal koan presents two oxes fighting and disappearing as they enter the flowing stream of a river.Wasn't he smashing as a drag queen?

Issan had two faces
but I cannot choose any
the drag queen in a soapy bath
or the floating cloud
neither one  nor the other
will tell you the whole story

Boddhistvas and destitutes
are made of the same stuff
in close embrace
they dance
and twirl and turn
the single flower

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Etienne Mokusho Zeisler

Etienne sitting in the large Zendo of the Gendronniere
Dharma heir of Niwa Zenji, he gave me shukke Tokudo in 1983. He was just a great calm and broad guy. Etienne Zeisler (1946 – 1990) was born in Hungary and when he was three years old his family moved to France. He started sitting zen with the monk Deshimaru in 1967 and until 1990 he did teach very much in his teacher's style.
Pine and rain
in your hands
the eternal mudra

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Listening to birds

stone-like head
eloquent when silent
birds do come
and fool around


    Mike Chodo Cross, wearing a black kesa 

I wrote this short poem three years ago. Somehow, I wanted to write it down again today.

Reed in the hands of Rumi
Bell of Nyojo
This one breath
Blows everywhere

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

the still state

Kou getsu
shofu jyu

Bright moon
in the pine-tree
a wind wave-like

Saturday, March 07, 2009

a very pompous and clumsy poem for Maezumi roshi

Sun-faced Buddha
Moon-faced Buddha
The empty cloud
From a sake cup
to a woman's lips
From kids arms and giggles
to the silent fruit of sitting
Mistaken and true
the cloud
in Him-you-me
The cloud
the invisible old path
treeless, roadless,
the way of nobody
going nowhere