In this talk from our May Zazenkai, Valerie begins with a poem by Emily Dickenson, That Love is all there is. The talk goes on to explore the life and teaching of Kongshi Daoren, an early 12th c. Chinese woman known for her poetry, writing, and bathhouse teaching. And known for her love. Kongshi’s lifelong calling is to be a nun. Again and again, family and society – filial duty – deny that dream. When she finally gains her freedom, she takes up her dharma transmission with empty hands and opens a bathhouse near a monastery. There she teaches unsuspecting monks to wash and realize the one singular reality of water and dirt – empty and complete.
Watch the Q&A from the May 7 Zazenkai.