“Sun-faced Buddha, Moon-faced Buddha.”
Description: Henry opens with questions: In these geopolitically turbulent times, how do we open to all that exists? To all that we may not like? How do we exclude nothing? Henry then continues opening up the koan, Master Ba is ill. Some scholars see Baso as having played a pivotal role in the history of Zen. Baso’s intent in this brief koan is to point to an entry place, to create a place of opening through the words: “Sun-faced Buddha, Moon-faced Buddha.” Henry quotes from Dharma Master Shin-tao “Our physical body seems to exist and at the same time is empty (doesn’t exist).” Alternatively, Shin-tao goes on, “awakened nature seems to not exist, but in reality it does exist.” We need Zen practice to realize this ordinarily unrecognizable and apparently contradictory state of things. Zen training offers an entry gate. We should not however get attached to this entrance. We must push onward, through the “law of the excluded middle.” We can’t abide by fixed principles: not one or the other, but rather: both one and the other.