Blog posts

The Jewel in the King’s Topknot

Unconstructed reality doesn’t negate the rules of our consensus reality. We have to abide by the code of behavior that has been established in our society. Nowness does not mean that anything goes. It does not mean that in understanding emptiness, we are given license to break down into anarchy the standards of civic society. … Continue reading The Jewel in the King’s Topknot

Rolling freely round and round

As I have previous said, Dogen deconstructs time and space in all his writing. He wants us to enter life in this very moment which Katagiri Roshi described as the intersection of time and space. Here is an entire paragraph deconstructing our consciousness’ misunderstand of “a body”. Our untrained mind thinks of our bodies as … Continue reading Rolling freely round and round

Gensha stubbed his toe

The next section of the primary story in One Bright Jewel is: Once Gensha was leaving the mountain carrying his traveling bag to visit masters widely in the various regions and thoroughly study the Way.  On his way, he stubbed his toe on a stone.  As it bled with terrible pain, he suddenly had a … Continue reading Gensha stubbed his toe

The Mani Jewel

One Bright Jewel, or sometimes translated “One Bright Pearl” is a short but important fascicle of Dogen’s Shobogenzo – a thirteenth century manuscript. Dogen had a 5 year break from writing on the Shobogenzo which, when completed had 95 independent essays. This break from 1233-1238 took place when Dogen was starting his monastery, Kosho-ji, and … Continue reading The Mani Jewel

Miazong’s Dharma Interview

Miazong’s Dharma Interview, 12 century From “The Hidden Lamp” Before Miaozong became a nun, she used to visit Master Dahui Zonggao’s monastery to study with him, and he gave her a room in the abbot’s quarters. The senior monk, Wanan, did not approve. Dahui said to him, “Although she’s a woman, she has outstanding merits.” … Continue reading Miazong’s Dharma Interview

Ohashi awakens in a Brothel

Ohashi Awakens in a Brothel – 18th century Ohashi sold herself to a brothel to support her impoverished family after her samurai father lost his position. She served diligently and became a poet and calligrapher, but she was plagued by sadness for her former life. Later she met Hakuin, who advised her that enlightenment was … Continue reading Ohashi awakens in a Brothel

The Red Thread of Passion

  Koan by Chinese master Sung-yuan (Shogen, d. 1202) In order to know the Way in perfect clarity, there is one essential point you must penetrate and not avoid. The Red thread of passion between our legs that cannot be severed. Few face up to the problem, since it is not at all easy to … Continue reading The Red Thread of Passion