The Koan

Blue Cliff Case 78: 16 Bodhisattvas Enter the Bath

Blue Cliff Case 78: 16 Bodhisattvas Enter the Bath

Seido reflects on this koan and its relationship to what unfolded during a recent sesshin at Empty Field Zendo for 17 practitioners. In this talk, she asks questions about what it means to get in and out of the bath and what water is in practice....

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Blue Cliff Case 43: Dongshan’s Heat and Cold

Blue Cliff Case 43: Dongshan’s Heat and Cold

Seido talks about our propensity to avoid discomfort and the invitation from this koan to become intimate with life that says "yes" regardless of conditions. The three bodies of buddha are also referred to in this talk (nirmanakaya, dharmakaya and sambogakaya) and how...

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Case 52: Zhaozhou’s Bridge

Case 52: Zhaozhou’s Bridge

A disappointed monk traveling to great Master Joshu's monastery challenges the teacher about what Zen is supposed to look like. Seido encourages the student to look into what is known in experience about the "bridge" to the "other shore" - the path from samsaric...

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Case 91: Yanguan’s Rhinoceros Fan

Case 91: Yanguan’s Rhinoceros Fan

Seido opens this summer's koan study with suggestions on how to engage these classical exchanges not from the thinking mind but on a more immediate intimate level. She uses Case 91 as an example on how to take up a koan's dreamlike quality and follow the salient...

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The Personal Koan

The Personal Koan

       If we look closely, every life dilemma has at its core a guiding koan. Being fired from my job, who am I?  From every powerful dream springs forth a luminous question. Having lost my car, I come to a towering stone wall...

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