"It isn't, for me, about being a Jew or a Buddhist, or a Jew and a Buddhist. It's about being a person paying attention to what works for me to keep my mind and heart peaceful, my life meaningful."
- Sylvia Boorstein
- Sylvia Boorstein
Saturday Zen Service, Dec 6: 10:00am - 11:45am.
Koan of the Week
Gateless Gate #10: "Qingshui the Poor"
A monk, Qingshui, eagerly asked Master Caoshan, "I am solitary and poor. I beg you Master, please help me to become prosperous."
Caoshan said, "Venerable Qingshui!"
"Yes Master!" replied Qingshui.
Caoshan said, "You have already drunk three cups of fine Hakka wine and still you say that you have not yet moistened your lips."
Qingshui is obsequious in tone but what is real intention? Caoshan has the penetrating eye and thoroughly discerns the monk's state of mind. Be that as it may, just tell me, where and how has Venerable Qingshui drunk the wine?
Poor like Hantan,
Of a spirit like Kôu,
Though they cannot sustain themselves
They dare to compete with each other for wealth.
Qingshui alone and poor -- his mind's too coarse:
Caoshan takes him along the road to the inn.
Three cups of the purists' lip-wetting wine;
Add a cup after intoxication, and all seems naught.
Caoshan, used to using the Zen purists' wine;
Pours it out entirely in front of others.
The intoxication topples Zen seekers all over the world;
Yet Your Reverence is still not aware.
Caoshan (840-901) was a 12th generation master on the Shitou side:
Shitou -> Yaoshan -> Yunyan -> Dongshan -> Caoshan
Caoshan and his teacher, Dongshan, together are the founders of the Cao-Dong House of Zen (Japanese: Soto).
"Venerable" is used here to translate shari (ajari in full form, Acarya in Sanskrit), an honorific title for a monk who leads disciples, correcting their manners and deeds. Nothing else is known about Qingshui.
Prophet and bullfrog, Jeremiah,
His original face known before it was formed in the womb,
Set apart before he was born,
Eater of holy words and flies,
Stander by the gate,
Correcter of deeds,
Server of a fine and mighty wine:
Was understanding a single word he said not unnecessary?
Have you not helped him drink his wine?
Are you not quaffing it now?
Joy to the world.