Raven 99: Doubt

Three essential conditions for Zen practice are: Great Faith, Great Doubt, and Great Determination. This Great Doubt is not intellectual doubt. It is:
"utterly becoming one with our practice to the point that our entire body and mind are like a single mass of inquiry. As long as we think that there is something called 'ourselves' that is practicing, we have not quite achieved great doubt. When we become truly absorbed in our practice, then the practice itself is practicing -- our spiritual energy solidified into an immovable mass of questioning." (Koun Yamada).
What is it? Open your mouth to proffer an answer, and you've lost it.

One evening Woodpecker asked, "The term doubt seems to be used in an unusual way in our practice. How do you understand it?"
Raven said, "What's this?"
Woodpecker asked, "Well, what is it?"
Raven asked, "What is it?"
Who hears? What is mu?
How is it I speak
Without moving my tongue?
What is the sound of a hand?
What is here?
I ask, not wanting to know,
but to remember I don't.
Case by Robert Aitken; introduction and verse by Meredith Garmon

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