Uncertainty allows us to enter life more fully. Zen likes predicaments. The koans are allies in this. The unexpected questions are often those that help the most. All the strategies defend against life – ‘Become more lost’ – a zen entreaty.
John revisits the awakenings and koans of the great teachers, among them Yunmen and his teachings. In the layered quality of the teachings there is a common thread in our lineage: we are all in it together, all held by this great path, we put ourselves in the vessel and see what happens. Each of us holds a piece of the story. Trust the piece you hold.
John talks about the warm intimacy of the ‘the dark’ – the uncolonized zone where koans work with us. Intimacy in teachings is used often as an equivalent for enlightenment. Koans open gates and bring us inside that mystery. Some categories of koans: Predicament koans, Heart Changing koans, Inquiry koans and more.
The great Chan teacher Luopu’s deathbed story and his emphasis on the importance of a ‘direct meeting with the source’ outside the teachings – you can’t just read about it. ‘Don’t grasp principles with words’. The story features the Book of Serenity’s compassion for the whole process toward enlightenment for these wonderful teachers.
No merit whatsoever! – Bodhidharma responds to Emperor Wu in Case 2 in the Book of Serenity. David follows the process of practice and Bodhidharma’s path.
David Weinstein examines Emperor Wu’s exchange with Bodhidharma. His question: What is the first principle of teaching? Vast emptiness ,nothing holy. The Emperor wants to be acknowledged but….