Get Your Head Out of a Bowl of Glue!

What follows is a quote from Chinese Zen Master Yuan Wu, the original compiler and commentator of the The Blue Cliff Record, 100 classic Zen Koans.  My seminar last weekend with Zentatsu Baker-Roshi focused on the third paragraph. My own commentary to follow soon 🙂


Mostly Yuan Wu:

Sit upright and investigate reality. Within an independent awareness, you must constantly step back from conventions and perceptions and worldly entanglements. Look to the void and trace its outline. Take your head out of a bowl of glue!

Observing the reality of physical existence is the same as observing the Buddha. Worldly phenomena and the buddhadharma are fused into one suchness. Go directly to your personal existence in the field of the five clusters of form, feeling, perception, associative mind, and consciousness – and then turn your light around: your True Nature, your Buddha Nature, will be still and clear and ‘as-is’, through and through empty. Accept It. This Mind is Buddha’s Mind. The myriad transformations and activities of the sensory world have never shaken it. Thus it is called imperturbable and the fundamental source.

Whether walking, standing, sitting, or reclining, concentrate on this fullness of mind. Be naked and pure without interruption, so that no subjective views arise and you merge with this Buddha womb. This is your own fundamental scenery, your own Original Face.

When the ancients employed their hundreds and thousands and mullions of expedient teaching devices, it was always to enable people to go toward this and to penetrate to freedom. As soon as you penetrate deeply to the source, you will case aside the tile that was used to knock at the gate.

Practice at this level for twenty or thirty years, cut off all verbal identifications, creeping vines, and useless states – until you are free of conditioned mind. This will be the place of peace, bliss, and rest. If you seek a time when you finish, there will never be a time when you finish.

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