Waves breaking through light – Kusen collaboration

John Fraser’s Kusen No. 231 Master Dogen’s poem ‘Zazen Practice’: The moon mirrored By a mind free Of 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’, […]

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. […]

Body of the Ground – Kusen Collaboration with John Fraser

John’s Kusen “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 avalanche, flooding […]

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 Mountain A scarecrow is Not 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 […]