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Rocks In Our Heads

I saw two graphs depicting life on Facebook yesterday.

The caption was "Look what happens when you plan." On the left a single arrow showing upward sloping progress indicating compounding results to top of the page, while on the right there was a swirl of lines, twists and turns.

We wish for the line and are rocked by the swirl. Zen is about life=living not life=deludding.

In the practice of Chan in China after Huening, one who is living the moment in vow, is awakening each

moment, and is called a Bodhisattva when she/he is sharing this with others. One could say this is "Bodhisattva-ism," the vowing=the living. That has become a tenant of Western Zen.

Mazu was Buddhist patriarch in China in the mid 700. He emphasized sitting and following vows, but also added a touch of panache. While not the inventor of directly challenging a student, he used a renowned in your face is in the moment approach. Yelling, striking, being eyebrow to eyebrow, and constantly challenging responses were all skillful means he used to cut through one's proclivity for selecting delusion over emptiness-a drill instructor of his day

Second, he is the student in a Koan administered on his behalf by his Master Nanyue Huairang. This tessho (teaching) is Mazu may have had a double insight from how his teacher taught him. It seems on an occasion, Mazu seemed to be straining while sitting meditation and became annoyed by a sound from outside his hut. It was a grinding-scratching noise. Mazu walked out and found his teacher polishing a rock. Asking why, Huairang answered to make a mirror. To which Mazu said You can't make a mirror from a rock, Huairang replied, nor can you make a Buddha by sitting.

Delusion is all about persistently with-holding letting go. A koan is a sharpe well honed teaching rapier. It penetrates the delusion demolishing it from the inside out. Here Mazu experiences a kensho, or sattori of insight, an unfolding from within sprung by Huairang's unusual offering.

Tuesday night February 24, 2020 I will provide a "flat-out-Mazu-like-hands-on-in-your-face-Chan-teaching-experience."

Come to the service searching and you will be lost...Climb the pole anyway and we'll both jump off...Come for the show stay for the tea...



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