Ten Verses on Koans, II

Responses to koans in Gateless Gate, Blue Cliff Record, and Book of Serenity.

Book of Serenity #3
Every dharma is dharma.
Realizing realizes.
He can recite the suchness-sutra
But can he shut up?
2015 Oct

Blue Cliff Record #1, Book of Serenity #2
The deep meaning of the holy truth is that there is no holy truth.
Therefore, not knowing pervades everywhere
Like a mountain mist, like a speck of mud on a trouser leg --
Like a sincere and pious prayer.
2015 Nov

Gateless Gate #41
No one's arm was lost,
No weapons, no defenses, cut through;
Thus peace and disarming mutually entail --
And both are always already established.
2015 Nov

Blue Cliff Record #67
Other masters of the time opened their mouths, spoke at length,
Polished and clarified the Diamond, edified audiences.
Today we speak of Fu, who spoke not,
And speak not of the masters who spoke.
Were not Baozhi's ghost whispering the poisonous question, "Have you understood?"
We would not distinguish chatter from silence.
2015 Nov

Gateless Gate #23
Ming's primal face, without thinking good or evil, was thinking good and evil.
Maybe he knew. If so, what then? Softening? Hardening?
To become dry, dive into the lake.
Steadfast attention to the grip
Is the only release.
2015 Nov

Gateless Gate #29
So wind, flag, and mind all move.
So neither wind, nor flag, nor mind move.
Both are true.
Indeed, they are the same truth.
2015 Dec

Book of Serenity #5
I went down to Luling to buy a bag of rice.
I paid something for it: the essence of Buddhism, I guess.
Even though the bag proved to be empty
I have been living on that rice ever since.
2015 Dec

Gateless Gate #17
Calling calls and stands alone, complete.
Answering answers and stands alone, complete.
Thus do you and I, each other's attendant, each other's master,
Disappear into solitary completeness.
2015 Dec

Blue Cliff Record #99
"Jesus died to save you," say the Christians.
Buddha, also, dies to save you.
The twist, though, is you must kill him yourself --
And know you haven't been saved from anything.
2016 Jan

Book of Serenity #42
Just take a deep breath. The essential body of Vairocana Buddha.
Turn left at the second light. The essential body of Vairocana Buddha.
It's always right where you put it, until you try to nail it there,
Then it's gone.
2016 Jan

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