2017-11-23

Ten Verses on Koans IV

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

Book of Serenity #72
"Inside there is a monkey."
Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong.
"If someone calls, 'monkey,' it responds."
Right, right, right, right.
2016 Jun

Blue Cliff Record #75
Sticky sticks are scripts:
The bit is in your mouth, directing your course.
Sticks washed of stickiness are playthings:
Total freedom is enacted before our eyes.
2016 Jun

Blue Cliff Record #63
What cruel murders do you commit
With your concept-clinging arguments?
Cut it in two. Cut it in one.
Present your delusions. Present essential nature.
2016 Jun

Blue Cliff Record #64
Those monks swimming in mud,
Zhaozhou swimming in a clear brook, with the current --
How dear to me are they all!
Not by our efforts does the mud clear to pure water,
Nor without effort.
2016 Jun

Gateless Gate #19
To a mind simultaneously ordinary and boggled
The world's very banality is its profound, wondrous mystery.
Only let the unnecessary fall away --
By attending to its necessity.
2016 Jul

Gateless Gate #27
Preaching comes down the chimney with presents wrapped in quote marks.
For you, "mind," "Buddha," and "beings." How to unwrap them?
Explanations cover the package with more shiny paper and sticky tape.
Wanting to live disquotationally puts your life into a gift-wrapped "disquotationally" box.
Merry Christmas.
2016 Jul

Blue Cliff Record #28
You can't step in the same river twice, can't preach a dharma the same as what's been heard before.
Comprendes?
Also, there's nothing you can preach that can't be preached (so, as Roshi John Lennon said, all you need is love.)
Capisce?
And here is Nanquan saying (preaching?) "it's not mind, it's not buddha, it's not things."
If he's preaching it, then it's preachable, so he must be not-preaching it.
Ah.
I stepped into the Chattahoochee River once. Then stepped into it again.
I do that kind of thing all day every day -- entering what is the same, yet different,
Preaching what is unpreachable.
84,000 not-preachings per second.
I am like this. How about you?
2016 Jul

Gateless Gate #34
Buddha, Dao, knowing, mind.
Not a one of them is another.
Mind is only mind. Buddha is only Buddha. This is only this.
So how could you be somewhere else?
2016 Aug

Blue Cliff Record #32, Book of Serenity #16
Sometimes you're affirmed, sometimes scolded.
You get judged. It happens. The teachers recommend equanimity.
Beyond that, though.
Judging aside. Equanimity, or lack of, aside.
There is just the fact
That what you just did,
And the time before that, and the time before that,
And now, and next time,
Was, is, and will be
Entirely right and completely wrong.
2016 Aug

Blue Cliff Record #40, Book of Serenity #91
You can't pretend there is no flower there.
There clearly is!
You can't pretend there is a flower there.
There clearly isn't!
2016 Aug

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