Last night Chris Wilson asked us to sit with the Koan "This very body, the Buddha", but in this form "Is my body the Buddha?". With 5 minutes of sitting left, Chris asked into the room, "Please try answering that question 'Yes!'. Now please try answering that question 'No!'".
It being community night, we then enjoyed tea and cookies thanks to Marika, then set into the conversation.
several people noticed the expansiveness of answering yes. How it made them feel free, and hopeful. One person noted how it asked her to leave this skin bag behind and to think of herself in a larger sense. Others noted how answering No, felt familiar, and suited, even though it was disappointing.
Others talked about how they finally connected with this koan, and that for moments they were lighted of their body, and hopeful that this meant they too were the buddha. They also mentioned that the word Buddha, was mired in religious overtones for them.
Someone else noticed how, with her foot falling asleep, it was hard to connect with "yes", or "no". Someone else still wondered how he could be the buddha iwth the pain in his face and body.
After the conversation, we stood and Chris walked us through a beginning Qigong exercise. We stood and moved energy from our feet through our hearts. I found it really relaxing, as I always do when I am asked to move slowly and notice my movements. It feels good and grounding.
After the meeting, 8 of the 14 of us headed down to Connecticut Yankee. It was, uncharastically, still about 70 out. and we drank and ate outside on the patio.
“A Course on Koans” is the delusion-riddled work of Chris Kufu (“Wind in the Void”) Wilson, who began practicing Zen in 1967. He regards Taizan Maezumi, Robert Aitken, and David Weinstein as his root teachers. Each of them pecked at his shell until he “completed” the never-ending koan curriculum of the Harada-Yasutani lineage.
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