Thursday, November 21, 2013


Tung-an came to his teacher and said, "An ancient Master said, 'I do not love what worldly people love'.  I wonder what does your Reverence love?"
The teacher said, "I have already become like this." With this, Tung-an has realization.

Hello All, We just finished a 4-day retreat at Kairos and I am preparing for our 8-day Winter Bones sesshin which starts next week so todays comment to this sweet, insightful and lucid dialog will be shorter than it truly warrants.

Whatever is before me or behind me...I have already become like this.
Whoever is before or behind me...
Whatever arises or falls away...not with any sense of passivity but also with no activity...I have already become like this. This simple statement rivals the seamless monument and Chu-chih's single finger. It is a direct kin to the twirling flower and the crooked smile. Each presenting and pointing to what can never be avoided or hidden.

When I hear, "I have already become like this" my mind naturally conjures the image of a mountain, steep and broad. The mountain is completely at home in its environs, actually is its environs, and so it knows the animals, trees and bushes on its slopes as kin. It is fully aware of the seasons, the weather and the winds and it is at home in any and all conditions. I have already become like this. I have become what I have always been...from before time started, and will be just like this, when time ends. The mountain sits at ease and at rest day after day, night after night under the bone white moon of mid-November. Please do not look for that mountain outside yourself...but don't look inside either.

 & enjoy your zazen and your conversation



  1. I have already become like this. Moment by moment life unfolds. It is new and precious. Time is all I have. And soon it will be gone. How can I best use it? Is this a valid question I should be asking myself?

  2. Tricky word, that "I"! When the I is absent the already become, became even before becoming. We're talking about a separation that never has existed, a conjuring, a magical feat of immense've got to give credit to the mind!

  3. We had a lively and wide ranging discussion around this chapter. Love and the worldly person. What is with Cook's translation - "the impurity of love grows filthier and filthier." Aren't we all worldly people? Surely the chapter is referring to one type of love and not love as I experience. What do you think? Think?

  4. Sitting like a mountain,
    Spine straight as it ever was,
    The snows come.

  5. I don't really have a comment. But I will share a recent poem with you.

    Have the night stars restored my faith?
    Frozen dew sparkles on the footbridge,
    the bird pond solidifies to ice
    this immediate life
    so small and wonderful,

    is not all.

    These tender edges we press against
    are membranes separating us from the vastness
    of the intimacy we share.
    We forget how thin they are
    in the everyday dripping of our ordinary life.

  6. I slept on it and still . . . . I cannot see a way to become what I already am.

  7. Dear Jack - What a pithy, perfect start to the day. Many gratitudes, ace

  8. `I am already like this...'' Having been under the weather for several weeks has helped me realize how we are already like this. Everyday life here in middle class America has taught us to impose expectations on ourselves and meet them or feel guilty for failling.: I will get good grades, I will get a degree, I will succeed as a doctor, lawyer, teacher, computer speciialist, etc, No doubt, some of this activity is just handed to us by life, and is a necessary response to it. But far less than we imagine, I think. In fact, in so far as we use it to construct identities for ourselves it is useless. Illness puts a stick in the endlessly rotating wheel of self development, and reminds us that, after all, we can only be what life shapes us to be--and there lies peace and fulfillment.

    Who do I love? No one.
    What do I love? Nothing.
    I am love. There is only love.



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