Sat Dec 13

"In a deeper sense, not killing encourages vitality, energy, creative livelihood, and wonder. In accord with this precept we profoundly appreciate and are grateful for the awesome gift of jut being alive. We violate the precept against killing whenever we discourage ourself or others from expressing the fullness of our being and love. When we see the world as estranged and alienated, merely a collection of dead objects to be manipulated or exploited to satisfy our selfish desires, we have killed the dynamic, vital world and its lively being, and have most fundamentally violated this precept."
- Taigen Dan Leighton

Saturday Zen Service, Dec 13: 10:00am - 11:45am.

Koan of the Week
Gateless Gate #12: "Zhaozhou Examines the Hermits"

Zhaozhou went to a hermit's hut and asked, "Anybody in? Anybody in?"
The hermit thrust up his fist.
Zhaozhou said, "The water is too shallow for a ship to anchor." Thereupon he left.
Again he went to a hermit's hut and asked, "Anybody in? Anybody in?"
The hermit, too, thrust up his fist.
Zhaozhou said, "Freely you give, freely you take away. Freely you kill, freely you give life." He made a profound bow.

Wumen's Commentary:
Each hermit thrust up his fist the same way. Why is one accepted and the other rejected? Tell me, what is the cause of the confusion? If on this point you say a turning word, then you can see that Zhaozhou's tongue has no bone. Now he raises up, now he thrusts down in perfect freedom. But though this is so, it is also true that Zhaozhou himself has been seen through by the two hermits. Furthermore, if you can say that there is a distinction of superiority and inferiority between the two hermits, you have not yet the eye of realization. Neither have you the eye of realization if you say there is no distinction of superiority and inferiority between them.

Wumen's Verse:
His eye is a shooting star,
His activity like lightning;
A sword that kills man,
A sword that gives man life.

Tongxuan's Commentary:
The two recluses keep the ultimate trasure hidden in thier chests, waiting for the right people. Zhaozhou, moreover, is an ocean-faring mercahnt; rare are those who know the appropriate price.

Zhaozhou (778-897) was a 10th generation master on the Mazu side:
Mazu -> Nanquan -> Zhaozhou

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