Teisho: Rohatsu: Case 50, Book of Equanimity, Seppo’s What Is This? (Part 5 of 5)

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It’s a series of graces falling like blows on the crown of the head.”

“… the inevitability of failure in Zen practice—error and mistake are the mulch which allows our humanity to grow …” ~ Henry Shukman

mulch grow humanity plant

Description: This final teisho of the Rohatsu sesshin follows an early morning ceremony that commemorates  Shakymuni’s awakening.  Henry notes that each and every koan is a manifestation of Buddha’s awakening. Many koans actually ask some version of the question: If Bodhidharma brought “Buddha’s awakening” from India to China, what exactly did he bring?

In exploring Case 50, Seppo’s “What is This,” the talk relates the story of Seppo’s own awakening, which illustrates the inevitability of failure in Zen practice—error and mistake are the mulch which allows our humanity to grow. We learn about Ganto’s and Tokusan’s efforts on behalf of Seppo. Henry further talks about how Zen practitioners may, over time, have numerous experiences that lead to deeper and fuller openings. “It’s a series of graces falling like blows on the crown of the head.”  There is no real end to living more fully and authentically through Zen training.

Post & Featured Image : Bulb by CJ, CCO Public Domain.

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