Jul 31 2017
When Ummon was about to die,
he admonished his students in these terms:
“I have four statements.
First is to cut through all mental entanglements,
to rely on universal truth.
Second is to let go of body and mind,
to shed birth and death.
Third is to transcend the absolute,
to establish an individual life.
Fourth is to haul rocks and carry earth,
to perpetuate the life of wisdom.”
— Ummon
Jul 30 2017
The Unborn is the ground of everything;
the Unborn is the beginning of everything.
Because there is no ground for anything
outside of the Unborn
and because before the Unborn
there was no beginning for anything,
the Unborn is the foundation of all Buddhas.
— Bankei (1622-1693)
Jul 29 2017

The original mind flows like water and does not stay in one spot, while the deluded mind is like ice. You cannot wash your hands and feet with ice. But if you melt the ice and turn it into water, then it can flow everywhere and you can wash your hands and feet and everything with it.

When the mind stays in one spot and clings to anything; it is like ice and cannot be used freely, just as you cannot wash hands and feet with ice. To melt the mind and to let it work, like flowing water, in every part of the body—that is what is meant by “original mind.”


— Takuan (1573-1645)
Jul 28 2017
A Monk’s Hut

Where a track diverges
North and south of the mountain,
Pine pollen,
Soaked with rain, scatters.
The monk returns to his hut
With water from a spring,
And a stretch of blue smoke colors the white cloud.
— Yi Sung-in (1347-1392)
Jul 27 2017
If pressed to compare
It's like the boat
That crossed this morning's harbor,
Leaving no mark on the world.
— Mansei (730)
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