where can the dust alight?

fabrice dozias


The Fifth Ancestor

Daimin Konin wanted to find

his successor. He asked the monks to write

a poem to express their understanding. Jinshu,

the headmonk, wrote the following poem

on the wall in the middle

of the night:


Our body is the bodhi tree,
our mind a mirror bright.
Carefully wipe then hour by hour,
and let no dust alight.


When Eno saw this

next day, he said to the monk

standing next to him, “I too have a poem.

Since I am illiterate, would you

write it down for me?”


There is no bodhi tree,
nor stand of a mirror bright.
Since all is void,
where can the dust alight?


When Konin saw this, he

knew the author had the understanding

he was looking for, and he recognized Eno as

his dharma heir and hence the

Sixth Ancestor.


Shunryu Suzuki

branching streams flow in the darkness


when the dust is polished off a mirror

clayton cubitt


When the illusory body

is extinguished, the illusory mind is

also extinguished. When the illusory mind

is extinguished, the illusory sense objects are

also extinguished. When the illusory sense

objects are extinguished, the illusory

extinguishing is also



When the illusory

extinguishing is extinguished, that

which is not illusory is not extinguished.

It is similar to how, when the dust

is polished off a mirror, the

brightness appears.


Virtuous one,

you should know that body

and mind are both illusory dust.

When the form of this dust is wiped

away, purity pervades

the universe.


The Sutra of Complete Enlightenment

from Dialogues in a Dream

by Musō Soseki


those who know don’t talk

orazio fargione


Those who

know don’t talk.

Those who talk

don’t know.


Close your mouth.

Block the door.

Quiet your senses.

Blunt the sharpness.

Untie the tangles.

Soften the brightness.

Be one with the dust, and

enter the primal



One who has merged

with Tao in this way

can’t be courted,

can’t be bought,

can’t be harmed,

can’t be honored,

can’t be humiliated.

She is the treasure

of the world.


Tao te Ching of Lao Tzu,

Chapter 56


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