In Great Sung China there was a lay Buddhist called T?ba. His family name
was So, his official name was Shoku, and his name as an adult was Shisen. He
must have been a veritable dragon in the sea of letters, for he had trained under
dragon elephants in the ocean of Buddhism. Swimming in the fathomless waters
of Buddhism, he would soar up through the cloud banks to plunge once again into
the depths of that ocean. Then there came a time when, whilst on a visit to Mount
Ro, he was struck by the sound of the valley stream rippling through the night,
and he awoke to the Way. He composed the following poem about the experience,
which he presented to Meditation Master J?s?:
The valley streamís rippling is indeed the eloquent
tongue of Buddha:
The mountainís contour is not other than that of the
body of Buddha.
With the coming of night, I heard the eighty-four
But with the rising of the sun, how am I ever to offer
them to you?
-from Dogen's discourse on The Rippling of a Valley Stream and the Contour of a Mountain,
Firstly, I want to express my deepest gratitude to all who responded to my post on searching for free resources. Bansho especially provided great examples to aid my understanding of Zen literature and practice, one of them being The Shobogenzo.
While reading through the discourses, I was struck immediately by this poem above, which sounds as if Toba were inspired by the view of our property. Having come from the Philadelphia area originally, the hills and valleys of rural PA have been and continue to be a source of endless, contrasting natural wonder to the world I grew up in.
What also struck me about this particular discourse is that it examines the need to keep one's spiritual experiences, and even intentions on a path to such, as much to oneself as possible. I now understand what Jundo meant when he wrote that Soto practitioners don't openly discuss kenshos very much. As I continue on my journey, I find that I've naturally developed less of a desire to chatter, and more of a devotion to actual practice.
Thank you very, very kindly to everyone for your assistance thus far, and here's to zipping it! 8)
Hearing eighty-four thousand songs, and not uttering a word about it,