from "Dried Shit Zen: Teachings of a Rishi"

sweeping snow from the steps/when Shakti laughs she shows her tongue/Buddha throws his torn yellow robe into the recycling bin

As one raindrop said to another raindrop: do you think we'll be falling for long?

welcome to my "Incognito" School of Zen

putting on dark glasses and a raincoat to practice the Great Cloudless Dharma of Venerable Master Hua

No thing exists without It. "It" is the ultimate dark mysteriousness. "It" is the no-principle, the pathless way, the Gateless Gate.

When I say that by sinking into the Starry Sky you can attain "it" I do not mean there is a you to attain it, or that it is the Starry Sky.

"I possess the true Dharma eye, the Marvelous Mind of Nirvana, the true Form of the Formless, the Subtle Dharma Gate."

"All-pervasive, yet utterly still/everywhere, yet it doesn't have a front, back, or sides/call it ancient/but look it's moving your tongue."

immobile in cold rain, bamboo samadhi clean and naked as a sky

handful of sand/a dead spider/-- water hissing in the kettle/the mountains look clear today

I use a great demon to kill minor demons. The great demon is "Buddha." Dai-bosatsu. But who will kill this great Buddha demon?

Wonder of existence is permanent; misery of existence is not. Misery is sense of a self; wonder is merely "Ah! Ah!"

Buddha, when he saw the morning star, cried, "Ah! Ah!"

Born, I cry "ah!"; living, I cry "ah!"; dying, I cry "ah!" /"AH! AH! AH!"

"Dull heads in the Dharma Hall trying to rub sparks out of a zafu/Hungry Ghosts grinding up their skeletons to eat for breakfast:/Tasty!"

"before thoughts" is a bare little tea room/the kettle is hissing/the tatamis are so old they don't even stink of straw/-- clouds, vast sky!

finding the letter "A" in your hara/teaching your skeleton to dance/instructing all the corpses in Zen, until hell is empty

what powerful energies will be freed in you/brilliant awarenesses/great visions of buddhahood/just by sinking into "before thoughts"

not able to detach from the wonder, not willing to detach from the misery/born, living, dying, I just shout "ah"!

the great cedar spreading its branches into the sky is sahaja, and when I let go of what thinking calls my "mind" I also am sahaja, no less

sahaja, "spontaneous," "natural," "nobody tells it what to do or how to grow," never leaving the inborn essence, it gladly embraces all

If you're not fooled, Buddha doesn't even want to talk to you. Talk to the Mudra.

"the rats' mind are luminous/the Buddha has been bones and ash for two thousand years/'waking up' is the unsurpassable delusion"

welcome to my "rat sutra" school of zen

in the solid mass of darkness:/a light --/the pine tree appears with its scent

everything's flowering/even the mountains gleam today:/Hail Buddhas!

certain Taoist sages/likened the Deep Mystery to black lacquer/totally dark, yet shining

As a step toward the "Penetrating Insight into Voidness" see that "solid matter" is akin both to ringing (sound), and brightness (flame).

Nothing exists anywhere but this wide open ringing brightness -- Shakti's bracelets are rattling as she walks, Shiva's fox ears perk up.

it shouldn't arise but it does/it never happened but here it is:/fantastic! -- run the white flag of empty space up the Universal Ridgepole!

sweeping up the rat droppings/shutting gold Kanzeon into the altar/the Master died recalling "one evening in spring, sake and plum blossoms"

hold the great doubt in total blackness the question has to smash itself to bits

Nothing's written, nobody has a clue, allelujia! stirring the fire, watch the flames burst forth brilliantly, wake at midnight, cold ashes

smooth and gracious mouth of bamboo/hollow as the Void, giving us your clear water/the sky clangs with light/everybody got up and left

there is a temple in India where they worship rats, and it is overrun by rats: I will go there during monsoon to write my "Rat Shit Sutra"

why even give it a name? "drinking clear water under the blue sky/ ah! it's good to be thirsty"

if you can practice "calm stability plus lightning-quick action" in stressful situations, it's probably better for you than "enlightenment"

the truth is a rat's ass is more enlightened than any of us here are

It's not a matter of changing your objective situation from a demon to a "buddha" - if a demon can go beyond all thoughts he is enlightened.

chewing on a raw radish/looking at the distant mountains/if it gets cold I can always pull my sleeves down over my hands

clearly knowing how to sing is the bird's job/clearly knowing how to kill a bird is the cat's job/ -- what's my job?

"Just seeing and hearing" !/a cat inches through the grass on its forepaws:/that bird will never know what hit it

I don't know what it is that knows sensations.

If there is a "Luminous Mind" it will take care of itself. If there is a "Great Sun Buddha" then his illumination will appear *by* itself.

Avoid all disputes, practice "calm equanimity" -- sitting once or twice a day drop all thoughts completely, don't hold onto anything.

no bird singing, no ear to hear it, no sound, nothing at all to ever think about -- yet magically TEE WHIT TEE WHIT TEE WHIT WHIT WHIT

The clear, subtle state of "before thoughts" or even "not thinking" can't be known except by sinking into it/discussing it is quite futile!

If suffering's gone, why talk about it?/If you cut off the stalk, it can't flower/Gone, totally gone beyond -- /knee deep in cold ratshit

If Consciousness is in your brain, when the barber shows you the back of your head, he is showing you the back of your Consciousness. Right?

Using two mirrors, you can look at the back of your head. But you cannot look at the back of your Consciousness, no matter how many mirrors.

a buddha image made of dried shit would require of monks precisely the same kinds of bows and prostrations as a buddha made of gold

The demon mask, the jealousy mask, the "evil" mask, the suffering mask, the morose despairing mask -- all beautiful, correct, necessary.

seeing the red flowers/I forget birth and death/the bare essence of mind is like a stone buddha/hasn't moved his foot in a thousand years

holy snow/when you whirl I forget my life

The Stone Banner

At night, wind rings in the ancient pines.
The abandoned temple is falling to pieces,
and rats build nests with bits of the Sutras.
No one has ever come forth from this Zen:
the sun and moon are empty like mouths.
Hearing Buddha speak, the demons clapped wildly :
they didn’t know he’d turned them into Starry Sky.
Mountains and valleys share the same mind-mirror.
Up the clear blueness, look, who’s saying “clouds”?
Touch the temple bell with your hand, it’s hot.
Along the riverbank, a swarm of fireflies.
The stone buddha never moved his foot,
or blinked, or even raised an eyebrow.
Yet his great Dharma-seat blazes with wildflowers.
Nobody ever said a word, or heard a sound,
so how can you say none of this shit ever happened?

The great yoga is just emptiness facing all directions at once.

If you could assume the sitting posture of the Buddha, and the mind state of the Buddha, you would be the Buddha. that's Zen

Heaven & Hell/empty castles in the cold air/wildflowers blazing like suns before they wilt/demons in dusty buddha masks, dancing

every inbreath is life/every outbreath is dying/live fully, die fully/mountains shouting to the sky/plum trees flowering in all directions

Physics says that if your consciousness could assume the POV of "light," you would simply perceive yourself as everywhere at once, timeless.

"Grasping at stone, eating wildflowers."

Once you ring a bell, it keeps ringing forever, although you may not hear it. Even after the bell is shattered.

Having entered the center of "clear awareness" there isn't much to do but to become either the "Horse that wins races" or the "Buddha eye"

I say this Horse is here to carry you to the Western mountains, and beyond

great moonlight big as the sky itself/in this clear blueness, how could there ever be anything?

Huang Po turns on the tap,/fills a tin bucket with gushing cold water./Glancing up, he sees mountains and clouds enjoying empty space.

shorn of thoughts/drinking today's sky like clear cold water/the dark wooly ram of the Infinite bleats:/BAH! BAAHA!

this Dharma gate is sublime/like spirits sinking into vast empty space/clear light nectar radiating from the moon, dark sky drinks deep

"this magically appearing world is all there is/every 'now' is just the absolute now/it's futile to look for water beneath the waves"

This tweet is an invitation to be fully awake in what Master Dogen calls "the Absolute Now." "The eyeballs are now, the nostrils are now."

By "empty space" I don't mean something objective. I mean behind your eyes, between your ears, upstream of your nostrils -- the Empty I.

I must admit that the last shot of Kurosawa's Ran still moves my heart in a way I cannot even begin to describe.

If before conception a person is non-existent, which is also what being dead is, congratulations, you are proof of "life after death."

Do you realize that beings from another dimension could quite easily take your life and edit it like a strip of film?

a bird built a nest twig by twig and lived in it for a while, hatched eggs, then all the birds flew off, the nest is still sitting there

the womb of space, the prick of time

this universe is just the flower buddha raised in the assembly, purest expression of nirvana

this timeless time, this spaceless space, doesn't have much to recommend it, except that the Buddha's nostrils are yours, his eyeballs yours

the eternal or absolute "now" Dogen speaks of is infinitely small, infinitely large, or both

falling into the blue sky/drinking up the Yalu river at the break of dawn/dragons & turtles crawling in the mud/quick, where's your head at?

One fine day, for one reason or another, you will suddenly become "the perfect nobody."

failed in every way possible/woke startled one day to "beauty supreme phenomena"/one shrill unending note on the bamboo flute

walking around San Francisco jacked up on caffe lattes/stopped amazed by the Golden Gate Bridge/drifting in and out of white fog

Welcome to my "sahaja" school of Zen, where ease is the Way and Nirvana happens every day.

"There's nothing more foolish than a man chasing his hat." -Miller's Crossing. Except a man chasing his thoughts.

Dirty, interminable, stinking, laughable life. Buddha - the dried shit stick! Manjusri - a not so bright little boy hauling dung in a cart!

In Zen we say "not one, not two, and not many either."

There is no "empty clear light" apart from phenomena. It is phenomena. The only way to realize this is to sink the "I" into infinity.

In the dark void of your head, writing in blood/dead people crying on a train platform/last autumn's clouds, now dust

it's not poetry but cremation smoke going up into the blue night sky a bird made of silver tongues a necklace of shattered daisies.

all night I wandered the stark cremation grounds, at sunrise/Kali Ma licked the tears from my eyes

Sujata was washing her hair in the river/when she noticed a half-dead ascetic/"oh not another one"/but she brought him a bowl of fresh milk

ah, pure unbroken lineage! like this mountain I see with my eyes appearing instantaneously in "my mind" -- a great Root Guru!

still working on my book of made up Chogyam Trungpa quotes

never leaving the Tao/is great and dignified

I once watched a mouse gorging on a single grain of rice. The mouse was aware of me, yet did not stop eating his grain of rice. Then he wiped his paws together, bowed to me, and in dignified fashion, like a great swordsman, withdrew to his hole.

no matter, no spirit, no mind, no path, no teachings, no attainment, no void, no not-void/raising one finger cut it off, quick what 's this?

big temple bell/ if the birds hear it, they don't let on

Lao-Tzu never talked about enlightenment, but he did talk about mindlessness, and this became Chan

the stench of Zen/hangs over the Ganges, this spring morning:/a Tao-fly rubs its hairy legs together"

the energy that comes out of mokuso (empty mind sitting) is lightning quick, thoughtless, devastating --

"Gateless Gate." An iron wall. Can't go forward, can't go back. The only Way is nothing beyond, before thinking.

Master Seung Sahn said: "Buddhas look at everything that appears exactly as if it had never appeared.”

Another fine day in the realm of the senses.
No such thing exists -- just suchness as such.

A wooden block hits a big iron bell. There is a booming sound. The sound dies away as the vibration settles. Everything's just clear now.

Ringing a bell that was never forged/to summon up the Great Dragon Tao/spiral galaxies are its scales/--fiery, fiery breath, watch out!

chopping up Emptiness with Japanese steel/pure white at the roots, these leeks smell heavenly!-/spring breeze shatters the white clouds

a bullfrog hops onto the stone buddha’s head/& sits still:/a fly buzzing past -- /TTHWWK!!!

Hui Neng is right, one shouldn't suppress thoughts. One should use various kinds of meditation to reach the h'ua tou, "before thoughts."

A recent thrill-a-line rereading the Tao Te Ching convinced me that I am actually not a Buddhist but an old school Taoist.

If you've truly attained an infinite, all penetrating state, tell me, what playing card am I holding in mind right now?

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