PZI Teacher Archives

The East Mountain Walks on the Water


Brilliant Zen student Dahui’s teacher, Yuanwu, sees his student can’t quite let go of his hold of the precipice and gives him this koan. There is something underneath everything: it is vastness. The old character was ‘sky.’ Haiku was hailed as a perfect snapshot with eternity in it. Haiku from John Tarrant, Masaoka Shiki, and others. Complete session recorded February 13, 2022.



Yuanwu and Dahui converse, and Yuanwu gives his brilliant student this koan to help him let go of the precipice and fall into the vastness underneath:

Where do all the Buddhas come from?
The East Mountain walks on the water.

—Entangling Vines, Case 49

It is good to remember that access to the eternal beginning is always there for us. The old character for that vastness beneath everything is ‘sky.’

Haiku is for freedom, and as a form, holds glimpses of the whole universe.

John shares haiku for blossoms, birds, waves, and hippos.

An exercise for naming and an unintentional and inconceivable note accompanies a gift of flowers.


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