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Patience, Constancy and Three Blows: Summer Sesshin Talk 2, Henry Shukman

July 22, 2022

Henry opens this second talk from our Summer 2022 retreat by offering us two paramitas (virtues) which help support our practice, especially during Sesshin: patience and constancy. These two virtues are footsteps that carry us through practice, helping us to keep going. Patience is a critical starting point for the entire evolution of practice. Through patience we learn to let things be as they are, which primarily means recognizing and allowing suffering to show itself (the First Noble Truth).

Henry then turns to Case 15 from the Gateless Gate, Tozan’s Sixty Blows, or in this translation, Tozan’s Three Beatings. In Zen there is tension between the warm hearted patience of allowing with the cold hearted harshness (sixty blows!) of exacting and rigorous discipline.

Apologies for some minor audio disturbances in this recording.

Photo by Simon Berger on Unsplash

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