31 December 2009

Knowing and flowing

If the great ocean knew it was full, the hundreds of rivers would all flow upstream.
Dogen, Dharma Hall Discourse 447 (Eihei Koroku, 404)

24 December 2009

On timing

A couple of poems from William Blake's notebooks:

If you trap the moment before its ripe
The tears of repentance you'll certainly wipe
But if once you let the ripe moment go
You can never wipe off the tears of woe

He who binds to himself a joy
Does the winged life destroy
But he who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in eternity's sun rise

20 December 2009

On teaching

It is necessary to get to the reality and reveal to learners the thing in each one of them that is the fundamental matter of great liberation, without dependencies, without contrived activities, without concerns.
— Yuanwu (Cleary and Cleary 1994, 178)

Do not regard the capacity to expound the dharma as superior, and the capacity to listen to the dharma as inferior. If those who speak are venerable, those who listen are venerable as well.
— Dogen, ‘Gyobutsu Iigi’ (Tanahashi 2004, 94)

— and thanks to John Harvey (see his comment) for pointing out that Lao Tzu was there before Dogen!