Showing its back
and showing its front,
a falling maple leaf.~ Ryokan, Death Poem
Resolving the matter of Life and death is of prime importance.
To explore this phrase, which is recited at the close of Zen sesshins, Valerie turns to Dogen’s Genjokoan and digs into two truths, conventional and absolute, which are actually one truth. Dogen believes that in Zazenkai, we are practicing realizing, ripening the sweet milk of the long rivers. The entire Genjokoan essay funnels into this single phrase which perfectly expresses the two fold truth that shows up in every koan.