true knower

We must know that it is not enough just to see what the Mind is,

we must put into practice all that makes it up in our daily life.

We may talk about it glibly……

we may write books to explain it…..

but that is far from being enough.

However much we may talk about water

and

describe it quite intelligently,

that does not make it real water.

So with fire.

Mere talking of it will not make the mouth burn.

To know what they are means …..

require to experience them in actual concreteness.

A book on cooking will not cure our hunger…..

To feel satisfied we must have actual food.

So

long as we do not go beyond mere talking…..

we are not true knowers.

Takuan Soho

(1573 – 1645 ).

Takuan’s character and mastery of Zen impressed his fellow monks. At the unprecedented age of 36, Takuan was made abbot of the Daitokuji temple.

Takuan was able to apply Zen principals to many activities.  

He was an accomplished gardener, painter, calligrapher, tea master, poet (over 100 published poems), and author (six volumes of collected works). 

His writings to fencing master, Lord Yagyu Munenori, are commonly studied by contemporary martial artists.

True self

True Self is the Self

that

existed before the division of heaven and earth

and

before one’s father and mother were born.

This Self is the Self within me,

the birds and the beasts,

the grasses and the trees

and all phenomena.

It is excatly what is called ‘Buddha Nature”.

This Self has no shape or form,

has no birth, has no death.

It is not a Self that can be seen

with the aid of

your present physical eye.

Only the human who has received

enlightenment

is able to see this.

The human who does see this

is said to have seen into

one’s own nature

and

became a Buddha.

It is to use neither thought

nor reasoning

and to look straight ahead.

Takuan Soho

(1573 – 1645 ).

Takuan’s character and mastery of Zen impressed his fellow monks. At the unprecedented age of 36, Takuan was made abbot of the Daitokuji temple.

Takuan was able to apply Zen principals to many activities.  

He was an accomplished gardener, painter, calligrapher, tea master, poet (over 100 published poems), and author (six volumes of collected works). 

His writings to fencing master, Lord Yagyu Munenori, are commonly studied by contemporary martial artists.

way of nature

“In spring,

the generous production of myriad things is the work of spring.

When that work is done,

fulfilling the definition of spring,

then spring gives way to summer.

The same goes for the flourishing of summer,

harvesting in autumn,

and storing in winter.

This is called the Way of Nature.”

(Takuan Soho, in a commentary on the Tao Te Ching.)

Takuan Soho

(1573 – 1645 ).

Takuan’s character and mastery of Zen impressed his fellow monks. At the unprecedented age of 36, Takuan was made abbot of the Daitokuji temple.

Takuan was able to apply Zen principals to many activities.  

He was an accomplished gardener, painter, calligrapher, tea master, poet (over 100 published poems), and author (six volumes of collected works). 

His writings to fencing master, Lord Yagyu Munenori, are commonly studied by contemporary martial artists.

Priceless Gem

Ancient Words of Wisdom Zen Stories

Priceless Gem


A lord asked Takuan, a Zen teacher, to suggest how he might pass the time. He felt his days very long attending his office and sitting stiffly to receive the homage of others.

Takuan wrote eight Chinese characters and gave them to the man:

Not twice this day
Inch time foot gem.
This day will not come again.
Each minute is worth a priceless gem.

Takuan Soho

(1573 – 1645 ).

Takuan’s character and mastery of Zen impressed his fellow monks. At the unprecedented age of 36, Takuan was made abbot of the Daitokuji temple.

Takuan was able to apply Zen principals to many activities.  

He was an accomplished gardener, painter, calligrapher, tea master, poet (over 100 published poems), and author (six volumes of collected works). 

His writings to fencing master, Lord Yagyu Munenori, are commonly studied by contemporary martial artists.

nature of divine

Ancient Words of Wisdom

Zen Stories

Stingy in Teaching

Zen

A young physician in Tokyo named Kusuda met a college friend who had been studying Zen. The young doctor asked him what Zen was.

“I cannot tell you what it is,” the friend replied, “but one thing is certain. If you understand Zen, you will not be afraid to die.”

“That’s fine,” said Kusuda. “I will try it. Where can I find a teacher?”

“Go to the master Nan-in,” the friend told him.

So Kusuda went to call on Nan-in. He carried a dagger nine and a half inches long to determine whether or not the teacher was afraid to die.

When Nan-in saw Kusuda he exclaimed: “Hello, friend. How are you? We haven’t seen each other for a long time!”

This perplexed Kusuda, who replied: “We have never met before.”

“That’s right,” answered Nan-in. “I mistook you for another physician who is receiving instruction here.”

With such a beginning, Kusuda lost his chance to test the master, so reluctantly he asked if he might receive Zen instruction.

Nan-in said: “Zen is not a difficult task. If you are a physician, treat you patients with kindness. That is Zen.”

Kusuda visited Nan-in three times. Each time Nan-in told him the same thing. “A physician should not waste time around here. Go home and take care of you patients.”

It was not yet clear to Kusuda how such teaching could remove the fear of death. So on his fourth visit he complained: “My friend told me when one learns Zen one loses the fear of death. Each time I come here all you tell me is to take care of my patients. I know that much. If that is your so-called Zen, I am not going to visit you any more.”

Nan-in smiled and patted the doctor. “I have been too strict with you. Let me give you a koan.” He presented Kusuda with Joshu’s Mu to work over, which is the first mind enlightening problem in the book called The Gateless Gate.

Kusuda pondered this problem of Mu (No-Thing) for two years. At length he thought he had reached certainty of mind. But his teacher commented: “You are not in yet.”

Kusuda continued in concentration for another year and a half. His mind became placid. Problems dissolved. No-Thing became the truth. He served his patients well and, without even knowing it, he was free from concern over life and death.

Then when he visited Nan-in, his old teacher just smiled.

ram0ram footnote …… to be in kindness is to be in nature of divine …… and that is true Zen.