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F E A T U R E D

June 23 Sunday Zen: with John Tarrant & Friends

July 1 Zen Luminaries: David Hinton in Conversation with Jon Joseph & Friends

August 8–11 Open Mind Retreat: with John Tarrant, Allison Atwill, & Tess Beasley

 

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WEDNESDAY ZEN: Cuckoo! with David Weinstein

June 28, 2023 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Free – $10

REGISTER


For whom do you bathe and make yourself beautiful?
The voice of the cuckoo is calling you home.
Hundreds of flowers fall, yet the voice is not stilled;                                           
even deep in jumbled mountains, it is calling clearly.

—Dongshan

The first thing that jumped out to me, from this koan, is the cuckoo. The cuckoo is a brood parasite, meaning it lays its eggs in other birds’ nests. They do not build their own nests, and instead rely on other birds to raise their chicks. During the breeding season, a female cuckoo will deposit eggs in up to fifty different nests. A cuckoo can dart into an unattended nest, snatch up an egg, lay a close copy and be gone within ten seconds. After hatching cuckoo, chicks instinctively shove their foster siblings and remaining eggs out of the nest, to have all the food to themselves.

Not exactly the kind of example I would aspire to, and perhaps that is exactly the point.

The one that I bathe and make myself beautiful for is the cuckoo. The cuckoo that doesn’t have a home. The cuckoo who is not at home in himself and is concerned about appearances. The cuckoo who pushes the other birds and eggs out of the nest so he can have it all. Though flowers have fallen hundreds of times, I have been unable to still its calling me home to the jumbled mountains of my mind.

Trying to still its call doesn’t work.

Dongshan was interested in the question of whether non-sentient beings can teach or not. I imagine asking that question to be something that would arise amidst the awareness of someone who appreciated that all sentient beings are teaching us, including cuckoos, and that his choice of cuckoos—brood parasites that they are and were in Dongshan’s time—was not an accident.

As the fox koan of our recent retreat showed us, to be free from the body of a fox we must be the fox that we are. Similarly, to still the call of the cuckoo, we must be the cuckoo that we are.


David Weinstein Roshi

Join us for a koan, meditation, dharma talk, & conversation.
All are welcome. Register to participate.

—David

Details

Date:
June 28, 2023
Time:
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Cost:
Free – $10
Event Category:

Organizer

David Weinstein Roshi
Email:
dweinstein@pacificzen.org
Register here to attend:
https://www.pacificzen.org/product/wednesday-zen-june-28th-with-david-weinstein/