Posted inBook of Serenity, Dharma, Koans, Videos

Which Way to Mount Taizan? Valerie Forstman (Video)

September 12, 2023

Each step, each sound, every word is Mount Taizan, the highest peak – this landscape that we can’t, actually, fall out of. Entirety. Shoyoroku Case 10, “An Old Woman near Taizan,” gestures toward such a complete and dynamic landscape. So do a passage from Dogen, an exchange between Bodhidharma and Huike: “Which way shall we go?” “Go straight on.” “If you go straight on you cannot move a step” – at which, Huike’s body-mind just falls away. He says, “all relations have come to an end.” No in or out, not the slightest possibility of near or far.

So is this totality some frozen landscape, nothing but white and transparency? On the contrary, in nothing-at-all there is endlessly everything. No foothold, nowhere to go or arrive – yet here we are, responding, finding what’s ours to do. Which way to Mount Taizan? Go straight on.

Photo by Birmingham Museums Trust on Unsplash

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