Kusen 255 collaboration with John Fraser

Dragons see palaces (heavy rain is falling) In the Mountains and Waters Sutra, Dogen says that when human beings see water, fish and dragons see palaces. He doesn’t say that the fish and dragons are mistaken. He also says that although human beings see mountains as still, they are always walking. Within this ocean, are …

Limitless – Kusen collaboration

John Fraser’s Kusen No. 197 “A teacher and his student were standing by the shore. In the distance was a boat. The teacher said to the student ‘forgetting about your mind for the moment, point to the boat’. The student pointed to the boat. The teacher then said ‘forgetting about the boat for the moment, …

Waves breaking through light – Kusen collaboration

John Fraser’s Kusen Master Dogen’s poem ‘Zazen Practice’: The moon mirroredBy a mind freeOf all distractions;Even the waves, breaking,Are reflecting its light We have a primitive idea what a symbol is. Usually, we think it’s like a code. So, in this case, ‘Moon’ will mean ‘Enlightenment’, or ‘Buddha Mind’, something like that. But a symbol …

Awakening flooding through us – Kusen Collaboration with John Fraser

John’s Kusen 131 In these days, it often feels as if we are living in a dream. But whose dream? Awakening is one of the three meanings of Satori, Enlightenment. So what is Awakening? It isn’t waking up into a different world. It isn’t, asleep, imagining that the world is flat, and waking up, realising …

Bring me your mind – Kusen Collaboration with John Fraser

John’s Kusen 130 Eko said to Bodhidharma, “my mind is not at peace, please pacify it” Bodhidharma said, “bring me your mind and I will pacify it” After a while Eko said, “I have looked everywhere for my mind and I cannot find it” Bodhidharma said, “There! I have pacified it” In Eko’s question, we …

The light will not break – Kusen Collaboration with John Fraser

John’s Kusen Book Of Serenity, Case 36: Master Ma Is Unwell The Case: Master Ma was unwell. The monastery superintendent asked, “Master, how is your venerable state these days?”The Great Teacher said, “Sun face buddha, Moon face buddha” Commentary: “unwell” is a euphemism. Master Ma (Baso) was mortally ill, and died the following day. Sun …

Body of the Ground – Kusen Collaboration with John Fraser

John’s Kusen No. 91 “Those who fall to the ground get up relying on the ground” Interdependent origination is difficult for us because we have an unexamined idea of time: it is like an arrow, going from past to future, yet past, present and future don’t have equal weight. The past is like an accumulating …

Momentary State – Kusen Collaboration with John Fraser

John’s Kusen Zazen is often called the mountain still state, the balanced state. What we need to understand is that the state is momentary. It is a quality of this moment. Not the person, the moment. This moment rolls in and out of balance. When out of balance, self, world and linear time all arise, …

Listen with Our Listening – Kusen Collaboration with John Fraser

John’s Kusen A pernicious and invisible delusion for practitioners is that there is an inside and an outside to experience: We should cleanse inner experience by eradicating thoughts and noise, and our experience of the world will be transformed. But of course, there isn’t an inner and an outer, there’s just this experience, within which …

Smeared Across Time – Kusen Collaboration with John Fraser

John’s Kusen Poetry Dogen’s ‘Everyday Life’ [adapted] On Unseen MountainA scarecrow isNot in vain Commentary: The scarecrow standing over a small rice paddy would often be dressed in black, like a monk. He protects that which feeds all beings. So, Dogen is talking about the practitioner and the dharma, and the relationship between them. Because …