Inspired by the exploratory group in Santa Rosa last week, investigating movement and its place in Zen, Wind-in-Grass got right into the lab. I mean, what good is thinking about thinking about how one could work with a koan with movement when one can just move with a koan and see what happens.
So we did.
We sat, the group blissfully ignorant of the stupidity to which I was about to subject them. The koan was spoken into the room:
"Are dolphins really as smart as people say they are?"
We sat, we walked, we took our tea, then everyone was invited to stand. Going around the room, everyone was invited to demonstrate one movement that gave them joy. The movement inextricable with who they are. And they did. And it did.
We had soccer kicks, and child's pose, and stretching in the morning, and bottom turns, and long walks, and clog dancing, and nursery rhyme wiggles, and pop ups, and lie downs and twists.
Then, with not a breath, we asked "are dolphins really as smart as people say they are?" And it was wonderful. There was squeaking and bobbing and backpeddling, and breaching and swimming.
So...why not: It was asked
Donshang was asked, "what is the Buddha?". Dongshang responded "Three pounds of flax".
There was sack heaving, grinding, pouring, eating, armloads, handloads and fistfuls.
It was effortless. And sincere, and I thank everyone who came and jumped in. Literally in this case.
“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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