I was reading two books this past week (actually 3 or 4), switching back and forth from one to the other. One day, I found myself reading the same poem from Ancestor Keizan in two:

“Though we have vast billions ranging to the clear blue sky in autumn,

How can it compare to the hazy moon on a spring night?

Some people want it pure white,

But sweep as you will, you cannot empty the mind.”

And then this from Ancestor Xuedou:

“The dragon’s jewel is found in every wave;

Looking for the moon, it is found in this wave,

And the next.”

We gather together, or sit at home in apparent solitude. Sweep as we will, we will never empty this mind. Isn’t the haze surrounding the moon beautiful, arising unbidden. Melting away with no notice. This haze envelops us all. We are each and all connected, wave after wave, the gems of each wave, arising unbidden from the empty source eternal. Our dreams the hazy of the moon. Our sweeping, the wave after wave. Our breath the waxing and waning of our dragon’s breath. While seeking earnestly on our cushion, the dragon soaks its wings in wave refreshed, and circles the moon, sprinkling equally light side and dark side. Sitting together with friends in the Zendo, we soak the entire moon with our enjoyment and distress before dragon can even think of breathing its next fire on water-mist.

What might this have to reflect on the precepts, on taking refuge. If we do not believe that we are Buddha, that we are dragon, that we are mist, that we are moon, that we are wave, that we are Sangha, that we are Dharma, we will not possibly accept that we are the precepts through and through. We will not embrace that we are refuge in all ten directions. Accepting this fully, without limitation, we become the actualization of precept and refuge. In not limiting ourselves, we free the pure action of the Sangha. In relaxing into our hazy moon dragon waves, we become refuge fully. We bring our joy and distress, our love and anger, our faith and fear. Sharing fully, moons and waves are revealed as moons upon moons, and waves upon waves. The whale sings, not knowing if its actions are big or small, and its voice is heard from one ocean to the next. Why would we ever think that our actions in the Zendo, in our community, in our solitude at home, is not heard in the next wave, the next ocean?

8 Deep Bows

Issan & Zenho

Other stuff: Issan Sensei will be heading to New Hampshire (the homeland of the most suprememaple syrup) for my 31st year at the Craftsmen’s Fair, August 2-16.

Zenho Sensei will be out of town, 8/3-8/13.

Don’t forget Zenkai Weekend August 27-28. 

Schedule, 7/31-8/6

Tuesday: 7 PM, Dream Koan, at the Tea House  zoom ONLY

Wednesday: 6:30 AM, Zazen at the Tea House with Mugen opening

One thought on “

  1. Damn, Ancestor Keizan…

    “But sweep as you will, you cannot empty the mind”

    Ancestors be being with the human mind ‘n shit just like me.


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