Posted inKoans, MC Podcasts

Teisho: Book of Equanimity Case 27, Hôgen Points to the Bamboo Blinds

March 3, 2016

“A monk asked, What is the ultimate teaching of all Buddhas? Hogen answered, “You have it too.”

Description: Case 27: Hôgen Points to the Bamboo Blinds

Hôgen pointed to the bamboo blinds with his hand. At that moment, two monks who were there went over to the blinds together and rolled them up. Hôgen said, “One has gained, one has lost.”


Henry explores this penetrating koan. Gain and loss are amongst the most deeply ingrained concepts and assumptions that we hold.  Gain and loss, closely allied with success and failure, wind themselves around and through our consciousness. David Loy has said that western culture institutionalizes greed (gain), and that: “the self is intrinsically anxious precisely because it has a deep unsettling intuition that it doesn’t really exist.”  In this koan, when Hogen says “one gains, one loses,” he is sharing his world—a world where gain and loss are equally welcome, because both are full expressions of the fundamental fact of the universe.  Listen to this talk, dive into the depths of gain and loss, and hear the brief but profound teachings of Master Hogen.

Post Image Credit: Duality + Balance, by Hartwig HKD, CC BY-ND 2.0.
Featured Image Credit: Yin + Yang, by Hartwig HKD, CC BY-ND 2.0.

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