Ten Verses on Koans III

Responses to koans in Gateless Gate -- a.k.a. Wumenguan (Chinese), Mumonkan (Japanese),
Blue Cliff Record -- a.k.a. Biyan Lu (Chinese), Hekiganroku (Japanese), and
Book of Serenity -- a.k.a. Congrong Lu (Chinese), Shoyoroku (Japanese).

Blue Cliff Record 18, Book of Serenity 85
A seamless monument, he requests -- to a seamless life,
Lived like a fabric smooth and unbroken from river to lake.
Are you so keen to unemploy the tailor?
Or has your eye perceived the seamlessness of every seam?
2016 Jan
Gateless Gate 30
Endless play everywhere. No inside, no outside.
The ten thousand things cross the ten thousand synapses,
Merge into a single axon, which passes itself into
The dendrites of ten thousand other cells.
This is not just a nervous system.
It is mountains, rivers, the great wide earth.
No outside, no inside. Endless play everywhere.
2016 Feb
Gateless Gate 33
Snowflakes are beautiful because they are gone.
Flowers come after, also gone, gone before they arrive.
Rocks, lakes, stars -- all that is mind --
All long departed: beauties of absence.
2016 Feb
Blue Cliff Record 3, Book of Serenity 36
Listen, I will tell you the good news: you're going to die.
You don't have to get everything fixed, figured out.
It's not up to you. You're off the hook, Dead One Walking.
You only have to be present to the sky's shining faces.
If you say, "no time soon, I hope," you might as well be dead already.
1800 years is just the same as one day.
Right now, the only eternity there is, they're just the same.
2016 Feb
Blue Cliff Record 26
Behold the special! So ordinary.
Behold the ordinary! Sublimely special.
Sitting alone leads to bowing.
Bowing leads to receiving blows.
This ordinary is extraordinary precisely because there is no extra.
2016 Mar
Gateless Gate 40
Every true assertion is also false.
Every false one also true.
Speech, calling a thing this or that, is a hawk's cry in a canyon.
It says neither something nor nothing, and it echoes.
2016 Mar
Blue Cliff Record 70
An action (speaking, say)
Doesn't come from a decision (to open the lips, say)
It doesn't come from anywhere, it's just suddenly (there, say)
One ex nihilo universe after another, all day long. Say!
2016 Apr
Blue Cliff Record 71
The monkey leaped far from branch to branch, and
Now would instruct the eagle and turtle alike how to soar.
Shoulding the teacher is a gutsy display,
But what do you do for an encore?
2016 Apr
Blue Cliff Record 91, Book of Serenity 25
Rhinoceros broken to make a fan, also broken. One brokenness or two?
Bring forth your brokenness and, what is the same, the rhino's.
Then you may draw a perfect circle
And behold what is right under your nose.
2016 Apr
Blue Cliff Record 42
Beauty of flake, sting of slap,
No place but here, no place but here.
Beauty of flake, sting of slap,
Long since gone, long since gone.
2016 Apr
Ten Verses on Koans II

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