Some Enlightened Zen Nonsense …

I find everything about Zen – hilarious and enlightening. I think a community of Zen Monks abiding in their infinite nature is my idea of a rollicking good time tip toe-ing between the form and the formless … here’s some Zen delights!

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ZEN KOAN
“One day Chao-chou fell down in the snow, and called out, ”Help me up! Help me up!”

A monk came and lay down beside him. Chao-chou got up and went away.”

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ZEN MASTER BANKEI ON OUR UNBORN TRUE-NATURE
The renown Japanese Zen master Bankei Yotaku (1622-93) drew huge multitudes to hear his pithy teaching, Fu-sho! “Unborn!” Meaning, “Don’t get ‘born’— abide as your Unborn Infinite Buddha-Nature.”

A woman suffering under patriarchal East Asian norms once complained to Master Bankei that her gender was a karmic obstacle. He retorted: “From what time did you become a woman?”

Bankei never wanted anyone to become fascinated by anything other than our Infinite Nature. And so, when a monk stepped forth in a vast assembly and proudly told Bankei, “I diligently chant the Light Mantra night and day and my body emits rays of light,” Bankei replied: “Those rays of light of yours are nothing but the flames of the evil passions consuming your body.”

In a two-line section of his famous poem, Honshin No Uta, Bankei says: “It’s the buddhas I feel sorry for: with all those ornaments they wear / They must be dazzled by the glare!”

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A monk wondered why Bankei used none of the methods of fabled Chan/Zen masters of yore, such as the stick, the shout, the slap. Bankei replied, “I know how to use the three inches” — i.e., his tongue, to tell people they are really Unborn!

Bankei criticized fellow Japanese Zen teachers who hid their own failure to realize Unborn Buddha-nature with, instead, a mish-mash of confusing old Chinese-language koan-anecdotes, the “dregs and slobber of the Chan Patriarchs” as he called the ancient lore! And he chided the overly clever who are deluded by their own cleverness.

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“I tell my students, ‘Be stupid’!… What I’m talking about isn’t the stupidity of (mindless) stupidity or (clever) understanding. That which transcends stupidity and understanding is what I mean by stupidity.”

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