Posted inDharma, Koans, Videos

Rohatsu 5: Cannot Get Wet, Cannot Get Dry, Valerie Forstman (Video)

January 15, 2023

In this talk from day 5 of the Rohatsu sesshin, Valerie picks up on the previous day’s talk by Henry where he presents the title and first line of the Heart Sutra. Turning to the figure of Kannon, Kanzeon, or Avalokiteshvara, bodhisattva of great compassion, Valerie asks, “What is compassion?” In response, she lifts up the phrase, “Just compassion,” then turns to a koan that addresses the heart of the matter: who we truly are.

The deep Sea of Ise – the sea of the world – calls to us, as does a single stone lying on its floor, a stone that cannot get wet and can never get dry; a single stone with one name inscribed on it. The koan asks, “How will you pick up that stone without wetting your hands?” And once you have it in the palm of your hand, what is the name?

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