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Fuketsu, giving instruction, said, “If one raises a speck of dust, the house and the nation prosper. If one does not raise a speck of dust, they perish.” Setchô held up his staff and said, “Is there anyone who lives and dies with this?”
Description: Henry begins this teisho on Fuketsu’s brief but powerful words in Case 34 in the Book of Equanimity with a short discussion of koans in general. “Koans sound like riddles, but they are about the here and now, this very human body – this is the only place the koan actually exists.” He then describes the two main arms of Zen: “Aware” and “Awake”. “Awareness” is mindfulness, being present to this moment; “Awake” is traditionally thought of as liberation from the cycle of birth and death, in early Buddhism; today, it means to be freed of the sense of self. Henry points to Fuketsu’s words about the “speck of dust” as another way to look at waking up. Listen to this teisho to find out what this koan may hold for you.