Teisho: Case 66, Book of Equanimity: Kyûhô’s “Head and Tail”

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“… the movement into service …

 serving each other

Description: Henry begins by explaining how koans are a doorway into the deepest aspects of our existence. Zen is about letting go of everything we think we know, of all our beliefs and opinions. It is a process of purification that allows for the discovery of another dimension of our existence. In Case 66, this dimension is described as “Opening the eyes and not perceiving the dawn.” Everything is gone—time and space and all we’ve known, including us. This is what Kyuho refers to as the “head.” The “tail” is described in the line, “Not sitting on a ten- thousand-year-old sitting place.” It is the movement into service. Just as the Buddha got up from his sitting place after his great awakening and began to help, we cannot get stuck in emptiness, but need both “head and tail.”

Post & Featured image: Together by Anemone123CCO Public Domain.

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