Posted inKoans, Videos

Awakening the Heart Retreat, Talk Two: Descent, Valerie Forstman

July 4, 2021

Valerie explores the miscellaneous koan, In the sea of Ise, ten thousand feet down, lies a single stone. I wish to pick up that stone without wetting my hands…

Valerie asks, how do we get to the bottom of this immersive silent sea which is so completely unknown? There are clues in the space of the unconditioned, in the fact of not knowing. Zen calls it true blindness, and deep stillness. How do we make the decent? Sr. Elaine MacInnes (who wrote commentary on the Miscellaneous Koans), says this descent involves going through many layers, through many poisons: conceit, conditionings, aversion, and the ignorance not seeing who we really are.

Photo by Niklas Ohlrogge on Unsplash

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