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.
The practice part of it is that it doesn’t matter if you think you lost the coin and start to be unhappy about life. That is another theory. And it doesn’t matter how many times that theory rises. Even that theory is the coin. A koan practice means that you go back to the river over and over again and you can trust that process.
The koan of the Autumn Moon retreat is from one of the great teachers Yun Men. The student asks the teacher, “What is a teaching that will last a whole lifetime?” and the teacher responds, “Say something in response.” October 14, 2012.
Everyone knows happiness is A Good Thing, more desirable than say, vacuum cleaners or eye shadow. The founding fathers of the United States offered happiness as part of a mission statement for a people coming together in a nation, encouraging you to pursue, and perhaps to go so far as to chase, harry, hunt down, subdue and corral happiness. Even the Dalai Lama has said that happiness is the point of Buddhism.
On day two of Autumn Moon retreat, John continues with the great Koan from Yun Men. He focuses on the tail of the koan: “The teacher says to the student, ‘Say something in response.'” Yun Men or Cloud Gate is at the center of the tradition of Koan study, and this Koan is presented in the Blue Cliff Record. October 5, 2012.