Posted inDharma, Gateless Gate, Koans, Videos

Joshu’s “Wash Your Bowls”(Case 7 in the Mumonkan)

May 29, 2023

Scott Thornton brings out the gentle luminosity in Joshu’s Zen of a few words. At one level the koan’s injunction seems straightforward enough: have you eaten (tasted awakening)? Then wash your bowls (forget it, let it go, wipe it away). But in Joshu’s kind-hearted invitation into a way of being as unstinting as falling in love – falling in love from morning to night in all directions! – he isn’t instructing the monk to wipe away, to empty. He’s freely sharing the living fact of this wiping-away.

In that same spirit of earnestness and fulfillment, Scott asks: why does everyone make such a big deal about “form and emptiness?” Well in short, because it’s liberating. “Go for a walk and tell me one thing you see that isn’t Buddha.”

Come for Joshu, stay for Scott’s Henry Shukman impression.

Photo by Kawin Harasai on Unsplash

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