Just out of Bodhidharma's claws, of the NOT KNOWING thing, not a candid stupor or evident ignorance, but the very open state or being where we are not trapped in anybody's play or role, we are getting now closer to the essence of what it is to sit and be.
The luminous commentaries of gerry Shishin Wick don't need my dirty clumsy paws, but as we have to say something, let's give it a quick and radical shot.
MAIN CASE: (...)"Why don't you read the sutras?" The Ancestor replied "This poor follower of the way,when breathing in does not dwell in the realm of skandhas, and when breathing out is not caught up in the many externals. Always do I thus turn a hundred thousand million billion rolls of sutras".
Not dwelling here means not caught, not trapped in the thought that this is real. Skandhas: form, sensation, perception, conception and counsciousness are passing, not fixed, and therefore the self we believe in is also passsing, not fixed. Nothing solid here, ever moving, ever changing. The breath is the door, the gate, the symbolic interface between two apparent separate world: inside and outside. Once we let go of the sense of I, out there drops too. No dwelling. No abiding.
How and where in your life can you find the wanderer? How can you treasure the homeless? What is this this that belongs without having belongings? Being homeless, isn'it the real way home. Always homeless, isn't everywhere home? If sutra lead to sutra, that is heresy, cold stone religion principle and stuff. Painful rigidity rooted in the worship of dead scriptures.
For Dogen, the ancestors, for Bosatsus and sitters, colour of mountains, sound of traffic, taste of noodles, are the true walking-being-standing-moving scriptures. The object of sitting is to allow the world to come and shine as is, the living voice and body of Tatagatha. How can you let ordinary things be your scriptures, your lamp? No need to be holy and religious there, every action is sacred, as is.
In an old journal of mine, I wrote in 2006:" drunk with blossoms and joy and sorrows, I am just going my fucked up way.Nowhere to go, just the endless action of going and being sometimes undone". (thanks Dokan for reminding me, i don't spend my time reading my old junk)
How are you undone?!!!
The koan has a deep resonnace in the sitting paractice too.
Li Po's poem : Zazen on Ching-Ting mountain strikes the bell like this:
Shinjin datsu raku, falling away of body and mind, body and mind cast away, reveals the mountain state being of every single particle in this universe, from junk to star. Me gone, I gone; It remains. It shines. It sings. It is. Thusness, as-it-is-ness, makes you a poor follower of the way, broke maybe, but what did you loose? Loosing is essential here, what are the beliefs, the treasured dreams, the ideas, the concepts about yourself and others that you have dropped? What is left once you sit on the cushion? Who is sitting on the cushion?The birds have vanished from the sky
now the last cloud drains away
We sit together
The mountain and me
until only the mountain remains
The world turns into a true sutra as soon as you walk in. Walk in with a sutra in your hands or on your lips, what does the world look like?
Outside the scriptures does not mean rejecting scriptures. Of course, we cherish and read sutras, but they are not only found in temples and books. The sutra we recite, maintain, read and receive, what is it? Can you see-hear-smell-touch-taste it? Can you be it?