everything born in this world is empty

hasui kawase

 

Students,

sit earnestly in zazen,

and you will realize that everything

born in this world is ultimately empty,

including oneself and the original face of existence.

All things indeed emerge out of emptiness. This original

formlessness is “Buddha,” and all other similar terms — Buddha-

nature, Buddhahood, Buddha-mind, Awakened One, Patriarch,

God — are merely different expressions for the same

emptiness. Misunderstand this and you

will end up distracted

for eons.

 

Ikkyu

wikkyu

 

meet the source on all sides

quiet, still, at home

 

Those who are determined to practice the Way practice self-awareness and self-understanding twenty-four hours a day. They think of this and focus on this. They know that the one Great Cause is there right where they stand, that it is in sages without being augmented and in ordinary people without being diminished. They know that it stands alone free of senses and sense objects, and that it far transcends material things.

Wayfarers don’t set up fixed locations in anything they do. They are clear and tranquil, with solid concentration, and the myriad transformations never disturb them. They appear in response to conditions and go into action as they encounter events, leaving nothing incomplete.

You should just be empty and quiet, transcending everything. Once the main basis is clear, all obscurities are illuminated. “Ten thousand years — a single thought. A single thought — ten thousand years.” Passing through from the heights to the depths, the great function of the whole potential is in operation. It is like when a strong man flexes his arm: he doesn’t depend on anyone else’s strength. Then the illusory blinders of birth and death vanish forever, and the true essence indestructible as a diamond is all that shows. Once realized, it is realized forever — there is no interruption.

All that the enlightened teachers, ancient and modern, have said and done — the scriptural teachings, the enlightenment stories, the meditation stories, the question-and-answer sessions, all their teaching functions — all of this illuminates this true essence alone.

If you can be free and clear in actual practice for a long time, naturally you will come to meet the Source on all sides and become unified and whole.

Haven’t you seen Fadeng’s verse?

 

Going into a wild field, not choosing,

Picking up whatever plant comes to hand,

Rootless but finding life,

Apart from the ground but not falling.

 

Right before your eyes, it has always been there. Facing the situation, why don’t you speak? If you don’t know it in your daily life, where then will you look for it? Better find out.

 

Yuanwu

zen letters

🪷

a master’s handiwork can’t be measured

Version 2

 

master’s

handiwork cannot

be measured but still priests wag

their tongues explaining the “Way” and

babbling about “Zen.” This old monk has

never cared for false piety and my

nose wrinkles at the dark smell

of incense before the

Buddha.

 

Crazy Cloud

speaks of Daito’s unsurpassed

brilliance but the clatter of royal carriages

about the temple gates drowns him out and no

one listens to tales of the Patriarch’s long

years of hunger and homelessness

beneath Gojo

Bridge.

 

Ikkyu

wikkyu

 

In order to deepen his Zen understanding, Daito Kokushi (also known as Shuho Myocho, 1281-1338), the founder of Daitoku-ji, passed a number of years hiding out amoung the beggars clustered about Kyoto’s Gojo Bridge.