Zazen Notes

The Mudra of Zen

Fuxi's Poem

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Mark Foote
Post title: "Why Can't the Tail Pass Too?"
(May 4 2013 at 04:43 PM)

"Mumonkan: The Gateless Gate

Case 38, A Buffalo Passes The Window

Goso said, 'A buffalo passes by the window. His head, horns, and four legs all go past. But why can't the tail pass too?'

Mumon's Comment

If you make a complete about-face, open your eye, and give a turning word on this point, you will be able to repay the four kinds of love that have favored you and help the sentient beings in the three realms who follow you.

If you are still unable to do this, return to this tail

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Mark Foote
Post title: Letting Go in Action: the Practice of Zazen
(Apr 21 2013 at 11:14 PM)

I have finished at least a rough draft of Letting Go in Action: the Practice of Zazen. The draft never does explain why letting go in action should be considered the practice of zazen but does perhaps offer an explanation of what Gautama's four trance states have to do with mindfulness of the body. I would welcome any comments.

Here is an excerpt:


"In a poem from the fifth century C.E., the Buddhist monk Fuxi e

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Mark Foote
Post title: Skill and the Taking of Vows
(Apr 16 2013 at 10:41 AM)

"When formulating lay precepts based on his distinction between skillful and unskillful, the Buddha never made any allowances for ifs, ands, or buts. When you promise yourself to abstain from killing or stealing, the power of the promise lies in its universality. You won't break your promise to yourself under any conditions at all."

(Thanissaro Bhikku, "Getting the Message", accesstoinsight.org)


The difficulty in this point of view is that skillful means is not something that is acquire

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