January 1962

Originally offered: January 1st, 1962 | Modified October 27th, 2009 by korin



(published, January, 1962, Wind Bell #2)

If you want to meditate you must have instruction of right teacher, especially when you want to meditate at home. It will take at least six months before you get your own right posture. Everyone has their own right posture but without instructions you cannot find it.

For it to be your true posture, there must be spirit which is called Essence of Mind. Without spirit it cannot be your own.

So we say, “When you become yourself then Zen becomes Zen.”


Checked by Gordon Geist 1999

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2 Responses to “January 1962”

  1. korin Says:

    “When you become yourself then Zen becomes Zen,” may be adapted from Shobogenzo Koyko, The Ancient (or Eternal) Mirror. Dogen brings up the story of polishing a tile to make a mirror:

    Nangaku (Ch. Nanyue) asks, “What are you doing these days?”
    Baso (Ch. Mazu) says, “These days Dōitsu just sits.”
    Nangaku says, “What is the aim of sitting in zazen?”
    Baso says, “The aim of sitting in zazen is to become buddha.”
    Nangaku promptly fetches a tile and polishes it on a rock near Baso’s
    Baso, on seeing this, asks, “What is the master doing?”
    Nangaku says, “Polishing a tile.”
    Baso says, “What is the use of polishing a tile?”
    Nangaku says, “I am polishing it into a mirror.”
    Baso says, “How can polishing a tile make it into a mirror?”
    Nangaku says, “How can sitting in zazen make you into a buddha?”

    Dogen’s comments include: “Clearly, in truth, when polishing a tile becomes a mirror, Baso becomes buddha. When Baso becomes buddha, Baso immediately becomes Baso. When Baso becomes Baso, zazen immediately becomes zazen.” (from Shobogenzo Vol 1., translated by Nishijima and Cross)

    Suzuki-roshi discusses this story and Dogen’s comments on it in Zen Mind Beginner’s Mind on pages 80-83, “To Polish a Tile.”

  2. Magdi Says:

    I am the mirror, the tile, the polisher, the polished.
    Why trouble yourself to search for what you are?
    Drop the search and you will find out.
    Keep searching in all earnestness, without stopping anywhere and you will be found out.

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