Teisho: Rohatsu: Case 48, Book of Equanimity, Vimalakirti’s “Not-Two” (Part 3 of 5)

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Then Manjusri asked Vimalakirti, “All of us have finished giving our explanations. Now you should give your explanation. What does it mean that the Bodhisattva enters the Dharma-gate of Not-Two?” Vimalakirti remained silent. ~ from Case 48

“…  what is that roar of silence? …” ~ Henry Shukman


Description: Henry uses a computer software metaphor for describing practice: Zen Practice is about changing our software, running a new operating system, with the main feature that it doesn’t generate the three fires: desire, aversion, delusion.  The benefit of this arduous training isn’t so much for our personal benefit; rather, when we are running this new operating system, we aren’t causing harm with the three fires, we are more able and inclined to be of service and to help.

The talk then introduces the famous lay disciple Vimalakirti, and the Vimalakirti Nidesa Sutra. This sutra relates various encounters between Vimalakirti, Manjurshri and other students of Buddha, who come to visit him while he is sick. They are all asked to give their understanding of the “Dharma-gate of Not-two.” Vimalakirti’s response is a “thundering silence,” renowned through the Mahayana tradition. We are all encouraged to sit with the question: “what is that roar of silence?”

Post & Featured Image (edited): Winter Mountain Snow by mikymro, CCO Public Domain.


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2 Responses to Teisho: Rohatsu: Case 48, Book of Equanimity, Vimalakirti’s “Not-Two” (Part 3 of 5)

  1. ron manning January 31, 2017 at 8:17 am #

    sorry if this doesn’t fit your thread. i frequently encounter the use of ” cloud” in the literature, such as in your sanga name and various teachers. but i have never found an explanation. can you provide one.


    • MCZC February 6, 2017 at 10:06 pm #

      Ron, Monks used to be known as “unsui” — “clouds and waters,” approximately. All teachers in this lineage get given a name when they receive authorization to teach (different from the “dharma name” given during the receiving of the precepts), of which the second half is “cloud”. Ko’un roshi means “cultivating cloud,” Haku’un means White Cloud, Dai’un, Great Cloud etc. The home zendo in Kamakura is called San Un — Three Clouds, because of its three founding teachers (all “clouds”). Mountain Cloud is also San Un — the characters for “three” and “mountain” share the same homonym, San. Maybe it was named to sound like the Kamakura zendo, we’re not sure. –Henry

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