the ultimate path is not one-sided

acey harper


The Ultimate Path is not

one-sided, the Final Truth is not biased.

We must not seize upon the views of just one

of these approaches. We must understand

them as one and make them all

perfect and wondrous.


In essence,

if you are confined to one

of them, they are all wrong; if you

reconcile them, they are all correct.

Forget sentiments and return

to the ocean of


Records of the Teachers and Students of the Lanka

full text here


a time for disengagement and retreat

just be still


This is a time for

disengagement and retreat.

In stillness you are out

of the reach of



It is inherent in the design of life that forces of darkness and disruption come into prominence from time to time. This hexagram indicates that this is such a time and advises you to respond by quietly retreating. To struggle or resist in anger now is to add fuel to the fire of negativity which threatens to consume you.

The superior person accepts that there is a natural ebb and flow between the forces of light and dark in the world. Wisdom lies not in resisting these movements but in responding to them appropriately. Just as a plant which sprouts in the dead of winter is doomed, and one which sprouts in spring flourishes, so it is with us. Success and prosperity accrue to those who advance in times of light and retreat in times of darkness. To retreat now is to benefit, in the end, from the changing tides.

Retreat is not the same thing as surrender, capitulation, or abandonment, which are desperate and unsatisfying measures. Neither is it characterized by a hardening into angry or punitive emotions. It is instead an acceptance and a choice: we calmly accept that the energies of the moment are against us, and we wisely choose to withdraw into the safety of stillness. In this dignified and balanced manner we protect ourselves from negative influences and arrive rested in a more beneficial hour.

from The I Ching, or Book of Changes

Hexagram 33, Tun / Retreat


ebooks & apps of the Tao the Ching, I Ching,

Wei wu Wei Ching, Hua hu Ching, and

Art of War for iPad/Phone, Kindle,

Nook, or Android



can now buy

the I Ching as part of a

five-app bundle of Taoist classics 

for iPhone or iPad for less than

the cost of one hardcover


brian browne walker taoist app bundle ios ipad iphone


like phrases written on water

After offering a convincing response when Kaso later challenged the validity of his awakening, Ikkyu went on to admit that he had practiced for a decade “seething with anger” only to find that as the raucous cawing of a crow shattered the evening’s silence “an enlightened disciple of the Buddha suddenly surfaced” from within the mud of his emotional torment.

Ikkyu continued practicing under Kaso for another four years, earning the deep respect of his master as well as a reputation for eccentricity. According to a biography completed by Ikkyu’s disciples not long after his death, when Kaso offered Ikkyu a “seal” of his enlightenment (inka) — a document essential for anyone seeking advancement in the Rinzai hierarchy — Ikkyu refused to accept it. Later discovering that Kaso had given the document to a laywoman for safekeeping, Ikkyu took possession of the inka, tore it to shreds, and asked his disciples to burn it. 

On another occasion, when Kaso was hosting a memorial ceremony for his own master, Ikkyu spurned the custom of wearing ceremonial raiment and showed up in patched robes and grass sandals, drawing the considerable ire of the rest of the community. Questioned by Kaso about his behavior, Ikkyu said that he was dressed simply, as a monk should be, while everyone else was prancing about in sumptuous “shit covers”. At the end of the service, when Kaso who was asked who would be his Dharma successor, he reportedly surveyed the gathering and said, perhaps with some reluctance, “the crazy one”.

…Ikkyu had devoted himself to Kaso precisely because he carried the torch of Daito’s personification of a “true person of no rank” — a rigorously ascetic approach to Zen exemplified by Daito having tempered his own enlightenment by living under a bridge with beggars and other outcasts for five years.


Peter Hershock



realized understanding

kindness and the excellent nature

of opportunities and dangers, one ably

breaks through the net of doubts snaring all

sentient beings. Departing from ‘is’ and ‘is not’,

and other such bondages…leaping over quantity and

calculation, one is without obstruction in whatever

one does. With penetrating understanding of the

present situation and its informing patterns,

one’s actions are like the sky giving rise

to clouds: suddenly they exist, and

then they don’t. Not leaving

behind any obstructing

traces, they are like

phrases written

on water.




a priceless jewel in your own body

caris reid


Each of you has a

priceless jewel in your own body.

It radiates light through your eyes, shining

through the mountains, river, and earth. It radiates light

through your ears, taking in all sounds, good and bad.

It radiates light through your six senses day

and night. This is also called

absorption in light.


You yourself do not

recognize it, but it is in your

physical body, supporting it inside

and out, not letting it tip over. Even if you

are carrying a double load of rocks

over a single-log bridge,

it still doesn’t let

you fall over.


What is it?

If you seek in the slightest,

it cannot be seen.



nothing occupying the mind

bottomless yuanwu


The wondrous path

of the enlightened ones is straight

and direct. They just pointed directly to

the human mind so we would work to

see its true nature and achieve



This mind-source

is originally empty and peaceful,

clear and wondrous, and free from the slightest

obstruction. But we screen it off with false thoughts

and give rise to defilements and blockages in this

unobstructed one. We turn our backs on the

fundamental and pursue the trivial

and foolishly revolve on the

cycle of routine.


If you

have great capacity,

you won’t seek outside anymore.

Right where you stand you will come forth in

independent realization. When the transitory blinders

of false perception have been dissolved away, the

original correct perception is complete and

wondrous. This is called the identity

of mind and buddha. 


From this,

once realized, it is realized

forever. It is like the bottom falling out of a

bucket: you open through and merge with the Way,

and there is nothing occupying your mind.

Beholding the essence, pure and still,

you receive the use of it and

have no more




zen letters