Teisho: Shukman: Case 1, The Blue Cliff Record, Bodhidharma’s “Clear and Void”

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“… Sitting is how we embody zen … It is “the complete continuation of the practice of Bodhidharma in his cave … it is one, unbroken fact.”

zen sitting

 

Description: The focus of this talk is the first koan of The Blue Cliff Record, “Bodhidharma’s ‘Clear and Void.’” It begins with the story of Bodhidharma, who is traditionally said to have brought Zen meditation practice from India to China. This particular night, Henry wanted to choose a koan that expressed the core of this tradition—just sitting. It points to the three marks of our existence, taught by the Buddha: suffering, impermanence, no self. Bodhidharma is conveying the world as he knows it, the world as it is. It is an embodied teaching, transmitted heart to heart. It is not conveyed through words and it cannot be studied. Sitting is how we embody zen. Mountain Cloud was built for sitting. It is “the complete continuation of the practice of Bodhidharma in his cave … it is one, unbroken fact.”

Post & Featured Image (edited): Nirvana by ePi.Longo, CC BY 2.0.

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