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Sunday, June 26, 2005

To Be at Ease in All Circumstances

Interesting talk. If you're not a big fan of the courier font, I suggest you copy the text, paste it into the word processor of your choice, and change the font there.

The koan tradition started out with students just asking questions in public and the teacher would answer them. Sometimes the dialogue would go on for a little while and then it would stop. The students would ask things that seemed to be a decent way of formulating the question. Traditional questions were often things like, `what is Buddha?,' or `why did Bodhidharma come from the west?' And the teacher would say something helpful like, `the oak tree in the garden,' or `three pounds of flax.' And every now and then a student's mind would be opened by this and then the student would become the oak tree and understand completely what was meant. Some of those sayings because they were found to be particularly helpful, because they seemed unusually resonant, survived and got passed down.


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