PZI Teacher Archives

Caoshan's Dharma Body (BS52)


Caoshan asked Elder De, “’The true dharma-body of Buddha is like the empty sky. It manifests form in response to things, just like the moon on the water.’ How do you explain the principle of this response?”
De said, “It is like a donkey looking into a well.”
Caoshan said, “You put it in a nice way, but you were able to say only eighty percent.”
De said, “How about you, Master?”
Caoshan said, “It is like a well looking at a donkey.”

—Book of Serenity, Case 52

Text January 23, 2023

A Donkey Sees a Well, a Well Sees a Donkey

John Tarrant

On thing you realize when you’ve been walking along for thirty lifetimes, is that the journey itself is home. There’s no flaw in what you’re doing. And in the journey you encounter peach blossoms, and you can feel that it changes you. There could be many forms of peach blossoms in your life.

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Text April 21, 2020

Çaoshan’s Dharma Body

Sarah Bender

Sarah Bender Roshi reflects on a koan: Wisdom has no knowledge, but there is nothing it does not know. Therefore, purity pervades with abundance. This is a purity of inclusion and intimacy, not exclusion and definition. That’s abundance. You are this abundance. As written April 17 2020.

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