Teisho: A Map of Zen Training (Part 3) & Case 65, Book of Equanimity: Shuzan’s “Bride”

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“… only one well-being that unites all things in boundless love 

one well being boundless love

 To come to be what you are not,
you must go by a way in which you are not.
                                                John of the Cross

Description: This teisho is the third talk from the Fall 2017 sesshin. Henry discusses Bodhidharma’s entry by practice and entry by principle and addresses the question, “Entry to what?” The first entry, practice, is about taming our unruly self and training the mind. The second entry, principle, is about seeing what our self and mind have been all along, and discovering there is no self to tame, and no mind to train. This is known as kensho: we have seen the ox, and now further training under a teacher is required, so that eventually we can begin to lose the distinction between awakened and deluded.

In Case 65, “A monk asked Shuzan, “What is Buddha?” Shuzan said, “When a bride rides the donkey, her mother-in-law leads it by the bridle.” This koan, among others cited in this talk, addresses notions of right and wrong. Henry discusses how deeply these concepts are embedded in our psyches. The koans invite us deeper into a condition where there is no right and no wrong, no gaining and no losing, only one well-being that unites all things in boundless love. In this koan, Buddha is exactly the situation described—bride rides donkey, mother-in-law leads. Buddha is just this, right now, and no map is needed.

 

Post & Featured image: Love Wellness by geraltCCO Public Domain.


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