Without Difficulty

posted in: Dharma Talks 4

Is it bad to cling to or preserve ideas of past and future? I don’t think Master Joshu wants us to judge them. My guess is that he wants us to just see what it is we believe and hold on to… and then investigate thoroughly. Here is a Dharma Talk I gave at the Village Zendo on October 29th, 2015. I discuss the classic Zen ko-an “The Ultimate Path is Without Difficulty” case 2 from The Blue Cliff Record. Joshu asks us to avoid picking and choosing. In this talk I look at the situation in Fukushima Japan as an example of a place that does not abide in clarity or discrimination. I also mention a workshop hosted at the Zendo called “The Order Of Disorder

Without Difficulty

Here is the verse from the ko-an:

The Ultimate Path is without difficulty,
The speech is to the point, the words are to the point.
In one there are many kinds.
In two there is no duality.
On the horizon of the sky the sun rises and the moon sets.
Beyond the balustrade the mountains deepen and the waters grow chill.
When the skulls consciousness is exhausted, how can joy remain?
In a dead tree the dragon’s murmurs are not yet gone.
Difficult! Difficult!
Picking and choosing? Clarity? You see for yourself

artwork: detail from “Sight Seen” acrylic on canvas 2015 24 x 30 inches

4 Responses

  1. Brandon
    | Reply

    Glad to see you absence was but temporary.

    Interesting conversation.
    I have though about how everything in our life is basically make-believe. Money, politics, history, etc. All just constructs basically. Why do we hold on to them? Pfft I don’t know.

    Nice to see you back, again.
    But I sure wish we could pretend rocks were like dollars for a while :).

    • Musho
      | Reply

      Thanks Brandon for your insightful comments. It’s true that everything is make-believe, but at the same time our lives are very real. We have to pay attention and look at exactly what we are making-believe of. Then maybe it would be easier decide which constructs we should loosen our hold on.
      If rocks were money we would need big strong wallets. Ha ha I’m funny.

  2. Ryan Silberman
    | Reply

    If I don’t cling onto ideas for the future, then there would be a good amount of game ideas lost in memory as time goes on, haha!

  3. Brandon
    | Reply

    Little late but…
    Hope you had a Merry Christmas.

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