Friday, 14 December 2018


275. In Sengcan's enlightenment poem Xinxinming, we read that 'if the eye never sleeps, all dreams will naturally cease'. This saying, of course, should not be taken literally for, as many have found, when they don't sleep they start to hallucinate. No, Sengcan's unsleeping eye is a metaphor for the awakened self which sees things for what they are, just as they are. The injunction to 'stay awake' is a constant across a number of spiritual, religious and philosophical traditions.  

Wednesday, 12 December 2018


274. Someone sent a note to a master asking, 'Does my True Face look the same as your True Face?' The master replied, 'Only if you're good looking'.

Monday, 10 December 2018


273. Take the question, 'What is the Bodhisatva's Gate to the One and the Many?' A number of Bodhisatvas took up this question and each gave a response in a few well chosen words. Even Manjusri felt compelled to express his penetrating insight in a verbal formula. Only Vimalakirti, when directly asked to say something, held his tongue. And so it is that even today, after so many centuries, we find our ears still ringing to the thunder clap of his silence.