Teisho: Sesshin Day 5, Case 14 of The Book of Equanimity

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Coming to what has grown up in the nursery of the mighty tree of Buddha’s awakening…to a refuge of practice…we are being taught how to live as helpful humans.”

lake awakening

Description: This talk continues the arc of Tokusan’s life by looking at the last koan in his biography, Case 14 of the Shôyôroku (Book of Equanimity), “Attendant Kaku Offers Tea.” At this point, Tokusan has “mellowed beyond all mellowing—unbound, consciousness gone.” The monk in the koan does not really recognize Tokusan; he does not see the “excellent horse” before him. We are invited to appreciate Tokusan’s silence—the world of “the last word” from the previous koan, “Tokusan Carries His Bowls,” (discussed in the last teisho). The talk closes with Tokusan’s final words just before death and reflects back to how he began his life of practice. Tokusan, now, hasn’t a trace of awakening left. “Beyond this, nothing further.”

Post & Featured Image (edited): Lake by bones64, CCO Public Domain.

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