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Showing posts from March, 2014

The Lotus Sutra

In my dreams I received a silver o'kesa with red stars. A teacher help me put it on and it felt too tight. My old teacher sat at his seat and called for help. His robes where shredding as he sat there. Even in my dream I knew this o'kesa was the wrong color for me. Red is generally a forbidden color; silver is not the color of your first o'kesa.

Then the sun was up and I slammed into the manure pile with tractor bucket. How many flies! I turned water on for our garlic and crushed the shell of a snail. I thought she'd be okay but with a gush of fluid she lost her grip on the standpipe and tumbled down into the grass.

The temple wants me- or needs me- in the fields and in the zendo. There's tension there. The fields and the zendo aren't communicating like they should. The planting season is coming on strong, it will be here with 15,000 eager baby vegetables with just 12 hands to plant them in. Simultaneously we will harvest, go to market, manage water through tro…

Why Zazen Matters But Not For Enlightenment

These rains hitting dry, crusty, earth aren't helping much. 

The earth is good; the rain is good; they don't need anything. But yet, the water is not helping and the earth is not being helped. Water and soil can't meet. The hardened crust is too much; the hard rain is too much. 

It can be like this with Zazen and me. When I come to practice hardened with ideas or emotions, seeking refuge in this desperate way, bathing myself in Zazen, I often think, this isn't working, this is stupid, Dogen is a liar. This is just breath- bad breath. 

Nanyue said to Ma-tsu,

Oh, great one what are you aiming at by sitting there in meditation like that?  What do you want?
Ma-tsu said:  I want to become a buddha.

                    The teacher then picked up a ceramic tile and began to rub
                    it on a rock very vigorously in the dojo, right there.  This
                    got the student's attention.
Ma-tsu asked him:What are you doing?
Nanyue said:  I'm po…