Wednesday night was community night, and we had a good deal of community there to practice.
To preface the game for the evening, the koan Layman Pang's Daughter, was spoken into the room:
Layman Pang was a basket maker. One day, after work, as he was gathering his baskets from the bridge where he sold them, he slipped and rolled down into a ditch, where he lay.
His daughter, seeing this, immediately leap into the ditch and lay beside him
"what are you doing?" inquired Pang
"I am helping Daddy", she replied
"Well then" he finished "Its a good thing no one saw you".
I have always found that koan wonderfully kind and compassionate.
We walked, then had tea. After tea, I asked each person to, one at a time, turn to their left and tell that person a flaw they perceived in their meditation. Busy head, tight muscles, no focus, sleeping feet, whatever. The receiver was asked to give them some heartfelt advice. Find time to do a relaxing mediation, don't worry about it, focus on a ball of light, let things go in the river, use a bench.
Once we had gone around the room, the bell was rung and we sat for 5 minutes. This time, people were asked to sit with the other person's perceived shortcoming.
Once we had done that, we shared how it was to have someone hold your flaw, to hold someone's flaw, did we feel closer to the person after giving advice, or lying in the ditch with them.
“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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