Posted inDharma, Koans, Mu, Videos

Joshu’s Dog: Summer Sesshin Talk One with Valerie Forstman

July 16, 2022

Koans are the intimate family history of Zen.

~ Yamada Koun Roshi

In line with this retreat’s theme, Intimacy with all things, What koans can teach us, Valerie offers a talk on Joshu’s Dog. This root koan (the Mu koan) is traditionally offered as the opening teisho during a Zen Sesshin.

A monk asked Joshu in all earnestness, "Does a dog have Buddha nature, or not?"  
Joshu said, "Mu."

Valerie explores this barest of koans, in-exhaustible, infinitely dynamic and absolutely warn. Let Mu pervade, and the sense of a separate self cannot survive. Dogen called Mu a sun with stone melting power.

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

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