Archive | Koans/Poems


Dogen: Portrait

If you take this portrait of me to be real,
 Then what am I, really?
 But why hang it there,
 If not to anticipate people getting to know me?
 Looking at this portrait,
 Can you say that what is hanging there
 Is really me?
 In that case your mind will never be
 Fully united with […]

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Koan: Seizei the Poor

A monk, Seizei, asked Master Sôzan in all earnestness… Seizei is alone and poor. I beg you, Master, please help me to become prosperous. San said, Venerable Zei!  Yes, Master! replied Zei. San said… You have already drunk three cups of fine Hakka wine and still you say that you have not yet moistened your […]

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Dogen: Zazen Practice

  The moon mirrored By a mind free Of all distractions; Even the waves, breaking, Are reflecting its light. ~ Zen Master Dogen ~~~ Text from the Zen Poetry of Dogen: Verses from the Mountain of Eternal Peace,  by Steven Heine. Image: Water Moon, by AhmedRadwan, CC0 Public Domain.

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A Bird Flies High

A bird flies high in the sky Where there is nowhere to go. What remains? Just this flying! Dogen wrote on this subject: Birds fly the skies, and however much they fly, there is no end to the skies. Birds never forsake the sky. When their need is great, there is great activity. When their […]

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Straightforward Mind is the Dojo

  直心是道場 Jikishin Kore Dojo “Straightforward mind is the Dojo”   Dojo literally means the “place – jo 場 – of the Way – do 道”, also sometimes translated as the “Bodhimandala”. An early reference to the ‘Straightforward / direct mind is found in the Platform Sutra by the sixth Patriarch Hui-neng… The Master instructed […]

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Birth and Death 5

There is a simple way to become a buddha… When you refrain from unwholesome actions, are not attached to birth and death, and are compassionate toward all sentient beings, respectful to seniors and kind to juniors, not excluding or desiring anything, with no designing thoughts or worries, you will be called a buddha. Do not […]

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Birth and Death 4

This birth and death is the life of buddha. If you try to exclude it you will lose the life of buddha.  If you cling to it, trying to remain in it, you will also lose the life of buddha, and what remains will be the mere form of buddha. Only when you don’t dislike […]

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