October 04, 2009

The Teacher in Everything

In taking up Zen Buddhism, we find that the life of the Buddha is our own life. Not only Shakyamuni’s life, but the lives of all the succeeding teachers in our lineage are our own lives. As Wu-men Hui-k’ai has said, in true Zen practice our very eyebrows are tangled with those of our ancestral teachers, and we see with their eyes and hear with their ears. This is not because we copy them, or change to be like them. I might explain Wu-men's words by saying that in finding our own true nature, we find the true nature of all things, which the old teachers so clearly showed in their words and actions. But the authentic experience of identity is intimate beyond explanation. And it’s not only with old teachers that we find complete intimacy. The Chinese thrush sings in my heart and gray clouds gather in the empty sky of my mind. All things are my teacher.

- Robert Aiken Roshi "The Teacher in Everything," Tricycle, Fall 2001

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[...] Tricycle » The Teacher in Everything www.tricycle.com/blog/?p=1556 – view page – cached In taking up Zen Buddhism, we find that the life of the Buddha is our own life. Not only Shakyamuni’s life, but the lives of all the succeeding teachers in our lineage are our own lives. As Wu-men... (Read more)In taking up Zen Buddhism, we find that the life of the Buddha is our own life. Not only Shakyamuni’s life, but the lives of all the succeeding teachers in our lineage are our own lives. As Wu-men Hui-k’ai has said, in true Zen practice our very eyebrows are tangled with those of our ancestral teachers, and we see with their eyes and hear with their ears. This is not because we copy them, or change to be like them. I might explain Wu-men’s words by saying that in finding our own true nature, we find the true nature of all things, which the old teachers so clearly showed in their words and actions. But the authentic experience of identity is intimate beyond explanation. And it’s not only with old teachers that we find complete intimacy. The Chinese thrush sings in my heart and gray clouds gather in the empty sky of my mind. All things are my teacher. (Read less) — From the page [...]

Marcus's picture

Wonderful! Reminds me of another great teacher:

"The resolute and unflinching mountains silently tell us, 'Live like a mountain'. The ceaselessly flowing waters whisper, 'Live like water'. The flowers that bloom in the midst of any kind of adversity quietly sing, 'Live like a flower'. A weed living in harsh soil says, 'Live courageously'. There is nothing that is not our teacher."

- Seon Master Daehaeng Sunim, "No River to Cross".

Crosslegged's picture

Beautiful ..