PZI Teacher Archives

Following the Scent of flowers (BCR36)


One day Changsha went wandering in the mountains. Upon returning, when he got to the gate, the head monk asked, “Where are you coming from, Master?”
Changsha said, “From wandering in the mountains,”
The head monk asked, “Where did you go?”
Sha said, “First I went pursuing the fragrant grasses, then I returned following the falling flowers.”
The head monk said. “How very much like the sense of springtime.”
Sha said, “It even surpasses the autumn dew dripping on the lotuses.”

—The Blue Cliff Record, Case 36

Text September 28, 2020

Following the Scent of Flowers

John Tarrant

So, there’s a spaciousness inside all situations, is what I’m saying. We’re walking through them, and underneath our feet there’s space and light around us—and we’re walking through space and light. And knowing that then is the source, I think, of empathy and love—but we accompany each other. And we don’t have to take ourselves or each other so seriously. We don’t have to advocate for the direness of the human condition, which is something we find a lot of. [laughs]

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