Posted inDharma, Dogen, Mu, Videos

2023 Summer Sesshin Talk 1: Mu and the Spirit of Dogen

July 7, 2023

We can’t do it, this great release – but Mu can…

“Because Mu is whole, the power of this whole Mu awakens you” ~ Ryo’un Yamada.

It causes… “body and mind of self and other to fall away” (Dogen) revealing that the place where you’re sitting is vacant, as the myriad things rush in. The gateless gate of Mu, a gate with a front and no back, “a peal of thunder under a bright blue sky,” is a helpful “barrier” even if or because it isn’t real: a crystallization and solvent for all that feels separate but never was for one breath, one thought.

So Joshu’s “no” (Mu) isn’t any kind of withholding – he isn’t pulling the ground out from under the inquiring monk – he’s freely giving the ground itself. This “no” and this empty, infinite oneness are the monk’s own home ground and the ground of mountains and rivers and rain and every last thing. To see the self clearly, as Dogen tells us, is necessarily to see through it to this reality.

Photo by Hama Haki on Unsplash

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