From shifu Michael’s third book coming out in January 2019

I came across this brief Zen saying on Facebook a few minutes before my Tuesday night meditation class. I have nothing to add to it.

The Old Master gave a short dharma talk one day and said, “The conundrum of Ch’an (Zen) is that you realize that;

There is Nothing to Realize,
That there is No dharma to master,
That there is Nothing to the teachings,
That there is Nothing to attain, and
That present mind is Buddha mind.
Yet, it takes Kensho itself to come to and ‘understand’ these ‘realizations.’
Outside of Kensho it cannot be ‘understood.’”

From New Tales of the Old Master due to be published Summer 2017
Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved.

April 9, 2017
I finished meditating about a half-hour ago. At the start of my sitting, I sent a brief email to one of my priest students who is preparing for his ordination in a few weeks, April 28, to be exact. I wrote: What is Not Two, right now! I used the exclamation mark instead of the question mark because I wanted to make the point, right now, what is your experience of the basic underlying wholeness nature of things.

Perhaps what prompted me to say it like this was the reading I was doing from The Ho-Shan Kung Commentary On LaoTzu’s Tao Te Ching. The first few words in chapter 21 got me thinking about the emptiness, openness and what the commentary calls “Those with immense Virtue can take on anything” (Reid 2015, 112). In the next DDJ line, it says, “With your attention on Dao alone, this will arrive” (2015, 112). And here is a powerful commentary statement, “To keep focus means to keep a solitary focus. Those of immense Virtue do not follow the ways and practices of the world, but focus only on following Dao” (2015, 112). I really like that point the commentator Heshang Gong is making. So in my question to my student, what is Not Two, the dedicated practitioner will focus his entire being on the direct realization of the Dao, despite the pulls and twists of the mundane world.

There is more. The last line (and commentary) of the DDJ translated by the author/translator Dan G. Reid goes like this:

How am I able to know that the multitudes began according to this nature of beginnings?
(Commentary): How can I know that the myriad things followed Dao to be infused with energy-breath?

By this
(Commentary) “This” refers to “the present.” In this very moment … (2015, 113-114)

Right now, I asked my student, what is Not Two. No other moment is the Dao, only in the eternal moment do we live and breathe, and move, and rest.

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