SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: Genjo Koan XXXXV

Today we conclude our discussion of

Genjo Koan

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Mayu, Zen master Baoche, was fanning himself. A monk approached and said, “Master, the nature of wind is permanent and there is no place it does not reach. Why, then, do you fan yourself?”
“Although you understand that the nature of the wind is permanent,” Mayu replied, “you do not understand the meaning of its reaching everywhere.”
“What is the meaning of its reaching everywhere?” asked the monk again. Mayu just kept fanning himself. The monk bowed deeply.
The actualization of the buddha-dharma, the vital path of its correct transmission, is like this. If you say that you do not need to fan yourself because the nature of wind is permanent and you can have wind without fanning, you will understand neither permanence nor the nature of wind. The nature of wind is permanent. Because of that, the wind of the buddha’s house brings forth the gold of the earth and makes fragrant the cream of the long river.
[Aitken & Tanahashi]

Master Ho-tetsu of Mt. Mayoku was using a fan. At that time, a monk came in and asked him, “[It is said that] the nature of air is to be ever-present, and there is no place that air cannot reach. Why then does the Master use a fan?”
The Master said, “You only know [the abstract idea] that the nature of air is to be ever-present, but you have not understood the fact that there is no place the air cannot reach.”
The monk said, “What is the meaning of the principle ‘There is no place the air cannot reach’?”
At this, the Master just [carried on] using the fan. The monk prostrated himself. The real experience of Buddhism, the vivid behavior of the Buddhist tradition, is like this. Someone who says that because [the air] is ever-present we need not use a fan, or that even when we do not use [a fan] we can still feel the air, does not know ever-presence, and does not know the nature of air. Because the nature of air is to be ever-present, the behavior of Buddhists makes the Earth manifest itself as gold, and ripens the Milky Way into delicious cheese. [Nishijima]

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2 Responses to “SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: Genjo Koan XXXXV”

  1. prg5002 Says:

    Hi,I guess all our actions make up the universe as it is.Cheers,Paul

  2. jundo cohen Says:

    I guess all our actions make up the universe as it is.Hi Paul,It really does not sound like much when we just say it in simple words. As you know, we must not understand this only intellectually, but instead taste all the implications. Even a truth of universal proportions can be reduced to sounding like a mundane fact. For example, a phrase such as “the Bang Bang was the start of all the stars and planets” sounds like a yawner, and a dusty fact, until we realize it to be the wellspring for all time and space and you and me too, the seed from which the flower of the cosmos blooms, all matter and energy rolled up into a singularity so small as to be beyond “small”, source of all that became our world and its life, going on even now right under our feet and –as– our feet too! There are many ways to look at it. Well, “our actions make up the universe as it is” is also the wellspring of all time and space and you and me too, the seed from which the flower of the cosmos blooms, all reality rolled up into the singularity which is each of us, beyond all small ideas of “great” or “small”, source of all that becomes our world and its life, going on even now where we stand and our very standing too! Just depends how you look at it, and how you feel the words deep within, I suppose. Words are so imperfect!Gassho, Jundo

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