Episode Description: This third teisho of the summer sesshin explores Case 17 in the Book of Equanimity. Hogen’s: “If there only is a hairsbreadth of difference, it is the distance between heaven and earth.” Henry discusses notions of heaven, the tiny size of a “hair’s breadth” and the concept of separation. Drawing on his wide knowledge of the Chinese Zen Masters, he tells stories of Nansen, Echu, Sosan, Hogen and Jizo; and he quotes humorous yet insightful commentary by Koun Yamada, all to explore the apparent dichotomies of heaven and earth, of emptiness and form, and how the arising of a single thought gives birth to the myriad things. In closing Henry stresses the importance of continuous practice without attachment to experience, a steady practice that helps us over time to become more and more settled in who we really are.
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