Sunday, March 8, 2009


Dharma Master Chih saw Dharma Master Yuan on the street of butchers and asked, "Do you see the butchers slaughtering the sheep?"

Dharma Master Yuan said, "My eyes are not blind. How could I not see them?"

Dharma Master Chih said, "Master Yuan, you are saying you see it!"

Master Yuan said, "You're seeing it on top of seeing it!"

This passage comes from the "Bodhidharma Anthology," a collection of texts that are thought to contain the actual words of Bodhidharma and his students. These texts were uncovered about 100 years ago at the Dunhuang cave complex in Western China.

This particular story comes from Record II, which, because of its colloquial nature, is believed by scholars to be an accurate represenation of the words of these very early Zen practitioners. Not much is known about Chih and Yuan; they are thought to have been direct students of Bodhidharma and Yuan seems to rival Hui K'o in his attainment. Chih may have been a student of Yuan's.

The Vinaya, or monastic code, prohibits monks from witnessing "wicked things" and the butchering of sheep is listed in the first twelve wicked things.

These two worthies are not talking about witnessing and wickedness, however. They are using the Vinaya as a playground for present mind.

Source: The Bodhidharma Anthology: The Earliest Records of Zen, by Jeffrey Broughton
Photo by Ben Piven

When the greatest Tao was lost,
there came (ideas of) humanity and justice.
When knowledge and cleverness arrived,
there came deceptions.
When familial relations went out of harmony,
there came (ideas of) good parents and loyal children.
When the nation fell into disorder and misrule,
there camme (ideas of) loyal ministers.

Kairos moments never fail to bring me home. So now, I sit, I practice but with the innocence and openess of a puppy, a kitten. Practice is not focused on eliminating pain or becoming a better person. It's not some big special ritual with expectations of gifts from the sky gods. Simply to return to the grace of living which comes naturally from prajna the intuitive realization of being one with the Tao.

When a person looks at something, listens to something, eyes and ears move and follow the things until they have passed. These movements are all underlings, and when the Heavenly ruler [ch'i] follows them in their tasks, it means: To live togather with demons.
T'ai I Chin Hua Tsung Chih

The quote above provides insight to Chang-tzu's fasting the heart (mind)
You are trying to unify yoursel, so you don't listen with your ears but with your heart (mind); you dont listen with your mind but with your spirit [ch'i]. (Let) hearing stop with the ears, and the mind stop at thinking (or, at symbols). Then the spirit is a void embracing everything, and only the Tao includes the void. This void is fasting of the heart (mind).

It never ceases to amaze me how one can simply grab a book off a shelf and allow the universe to provide the path for the next lesson that is most appropriate to further personal evolution at that moment coincidence control. wink, wink. In the seventies John C. Lilly was one of my favorite authors.

Anyway-Here's what I read this morning;
The master came because it was time. He left because he followed the natural flow. Be content with the moment, and be willing to follow the flow; then there will be no room for grief or joy. In the old days this was called freedom from bondage. The wood is consumed but the fire burns on, and we do not know when it will come to an end.
Chuang-tzu writes of the death of Lao-tzu

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