The salt and sauce is the invisible component of practice, of life, the place where we are held when disaster strikes or you find yourself at the Mad Hatter’s tea party. You might not need what you think you do to get by. We can be at peace in the midst of the madness of events—this is our main work in Zen. Complete Sunday Zen session from March 12, 2023.
Mazu said, when asked about the years he’d spent in his teacher’s temple –
We’ve never lacked for salt and sauce; even in the thirty years of barely getting by after the barbarian hordes broke China’s barriers and war, famine and destruction ensued.
(mirror of today)
The salt and sauce is the invisible component of practice, of life. It is the place in which we are held when disaster strikes, or there’s chronic illness, or you find yourself at the Mad Hatter’s tea party.
You might not need what you think you do to get by.
What is salt and sauce for you?
The invisible influence of salt in a dish is like Zen. We take joy in other people’s joy, we can dream other people’s solutions. We have many signs of the invisible flavors of life—they loom, and they can surprise us. If we bless them we feel the interconnectedness and their presence.
The old Chinese poets, like Li Bai, remarked on what it feels like to be illuminated and supported in life—that the salt and sauce is always available. Even in a complaint, you can feel the connection. What is the beauty even in the dark and hard things? What is the gift they bring?
John reads from Chateaubriand, who wrote on the bizarre disordered nature of the revolutionary period in France.
We can be at peace in the midst of the madness of events—this is our main work in Zen.
Complete Sunday Zen session with John Tarrant recorded March 12, 2023. Includes a flute solo for meditation from Michael Wilding.Read More▼