don’t linger on thoughts



today concentrate

on the quest to have no thoughts but

find that their thoughts ultimately cannot be

annihilated. Just don’t linger on the preceding thought,

don’t greet the following thought; if you can just use

the present adaptation to circumstances to

break through, you will naturally enter

nothingness in a gradual



Huanchu Daoren

Vegetable Roots Discourse


work toward emptiness and openness


Work toward 

emptiness and openness. 

Cultivate stillness. Breathe harmony. 

Become tranquility. As the ten

thousand things rise and fall,

rise and fall, just witness

their return to the




that flourishes dissolves

again into the source. To dissolve

back into the source is to find peace. 

To find peace is to recover your true nature. 

To recover your true nature is to know the constancy

of Tao. To know the constancy of Tao is insight. Insight

opens your mind. An open mind leads to an open

heart. Open heartedness leads to justice. 

Justice is an expression of divinity. 

Divinity is oneness with




with Tao is freedom

from harm, indescribable

pleasure, eternal



from The Tao te Ching of Lao Tzu,

Chapter 16


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asks us not to look for

an alternative path, because there

is no alternative path. It is an introduction

to what we love and have loved, an inescapable

and often beautiful question, something

and someone that has been with us

all along, asking us to be ready

for the ultimate




David Whyte


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.