Posted inArt and Poems, Other Teachings

Straightforward Mind is the Dojo

November 26, 2016



直心是道場 Jikishin Kore Dojo
Straightforward mind is the Dojo”


Dojo literally means the “place – jo 場 – of the Way – do 道”, also sometimes translated as the “Bodhimandala”.

An early reference to the ‘Straightforward / direct mind is found in the Platform Sutra by the sixth Patriarch Hui-neng…

The Master instructed the assembly:

“… the Single Conduct Samadhi is the constant practice of maintaining a direct, straightforward mind in all places, whether one is walking, standing, sitting, or lying down. As the Vimalakirti Sutra says, ‘The straight mind is the Bodhimandala; the straight mind is the Pure Land.’

“Do not speak of straightness with the mouth only, while the mind and practice are crooked, nor speak of the Single Conduct Samadhi without maintaining a straight mind. Simply practice keeping a straight mind and have no attachment to any dharma.

(…) Be an unmoving Bodhimandala with a straightforward mind, for that is the realization of the Pure Land and is called the Samadhi of One Conduct.”

What is this Direct/straightforward mind?

I am reminded of the Shin jin mei (a poem composed by the Third Patriarch Sôsan):

The supreme Way is not difficult; it simply dislikes choosing.
When like and dislike disappear the way stands clear and undisguised.

And Joshu’s question to Nansen: “What is the Way?”

Nansen replied: “Ordinary mind is the Way.”


Photo and creation by Rosa Bellino.

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