Sunday, 31 March 2019


302. The ninth century master Kyōgen Oshō draws a graphic picture of someone doing Zen on Struggle Street. He says that such a one is like a man up in a tree hanging from a branch by the skin of his teeth. His hands can't grab unto anything and his feet can find no support. (Not a bad image of what doing zazen can seem like at times.) Master Kyōgen then puts the hard word on the man in the tree and would have him reply to someone who wants to know the meaning of Bodhidharma's coming from the West. And so the Zen practitioner, hanging by his teeth in the tree, finds himself in an impossible situation. If he doesn't answer he fails to teach the dharma. If he does answer he falls to his death. Now see how this applies to doing Zen when the going gets tough. Standing nowhere, with nothing to rely on, give the meaning of Bodhidharma's coming from the West.      

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