Zen, Chan, Seon, or Thien is a way of doing things. It's a way of walking, talking, eating, sleeping, drinking, laughing, listening, feeling and fucking that reflects the way things are. I could go into Buddhist philosophy here, but I'm won't, because philosophy tends to fill our heads with bullshit to the point that we're … Continue reading Back to Basics: What is Zen?
There's one person sitting on the shore who's dripping wet. There's another person sitting on the bottom of the lake who's never been wet. Which one is Buddha? Thousands of years ago, on Vulture Peak, the Buddha plucked a flower and Mahakashyapa smiled. Why? Because, at the same time, that never happened. On one hand, … Continue reading The Two Truths & A Plucked Flower
Zen is all about our "True Nature." What that is isn't clearly defined, because 1) It can't be, and 2) That would ruin the practice. That said, we can take a more practical approach to this as well. All of the suffering we experience comes from forgetting or misunderstanding something's nature. If we don't know … Continue reading There’s Not Just Buddha-Nature, There’s Also You-Nature
Two monks were walking toward a river. As they were standing there, a beautiful maiden approached and asked if they could help her across. The senior monk, without a moment's hesitation, picked her up and carried her to the other side. A few hours of silence past between the monks. Eventually, unable to contain himself … Continue reading Two Monks, A Woman & A River
I've seen horrors. Horror after horror in this life. I'm sure I'll see many more before it's all said and done. Some of those horrors were real, most were imagined. Sitting there, assaulted by hypothetical after hypothetical, thinking I could possibly know how others felt about me---thinking I could understand the unpredictable intricacies of cause … Continue reading How I’ve Made It Through
Today, we’re gonna talk about the first case from the Gateless Gate collection: the wu gong-an. Wu is one of the most popular gong-ans around. There have been whole books written about it, so I’m not gonna say much here. Besides, I think that making a big deal of it is the opposite of what … Continue reading Zhaozhou’s Wu Gong-an
You might notice that things look a little more basic around here. That's because I've downgraded Salty Dharma to the free plan. Since I'm an unemployed writer, and this site wasn't generating any revenue, it didn't make sense to keep pay in $100 a year for it. And, honestly, I'm nearing a point now where … Continue reading Downgrading the Blog