PZI Teacher Archives
In the old days there were sixteen bodhisattvas. When it was time to bathe they got into the bath together. Suddenly they realized the cause of water and said,“This subtle touch releases the brightness. We have become the sons and daughters of the Buddha.”
—Blue Cliff Record Case 78
(transl. by John Tarrant & Joan Sutherland)
All the ways we try to get out of awakening! It becomes a real burden, to not let some piece of life touch me or penetrate. These things become very clear in retreat; it becomes hard to ignore what’s there. And all the efforts to snare it, charm it, or steal it from someone else, including a past or future versions of oneself … despite these efforts, we can’t hold off awakening.
David talks about entering baths in Japan. How do you enter a bath? What is your way? We are not just entering the bath—the bath enters us. Water added to water. It’s not about getting clean; it’s about getting free.
How does it feel to be here? The bath is that which contains us. We go in together—enter here. There is something marvelous about letting it all go and letting the imperfections of life appear. Feeling that subtle touch. The universe is at play: let’s see it playing, and let’s let it see us play.
What is this life? The nature of what appears is always changing—it’s something we feel together in ‘the bath. Prajna, or wisdom, is learning to recognize and see accurately. We can suddenly see that everything is okay and here, and yet it’s a dance. We find it; we lose it again. In practice, as in life, lost things return or cycle in and take their leave again.
“We’d give anything for the life we have,” says poet Tony Hoagland. Take the role of host wherever you are; no special undertakings are necessary. From Summer Sesshin. As recorded June 13 2016.