Ask the Pillar

The Zen Mountain Monastery Podcast
The Zen Mountain Monastery Podcast
Ask the Pillar
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Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Zen Mountain Monastery, New York, Wednesday 02/23/2022

From Master Dogen’s 300 Koan Shobogenzo (True Dharma Eye), Case 41 – Shitou’s “Ask the Pillar”

A student asked Master Shitou, “What is the meaning of Bodhidharma coming from the west?” Shitou said, “Ask the pillar.” The student said, “I don’t understand it.” Shitou said, “I don’t understand it either.”

The Buddhist path is based in inquiry. This asks that we abandon our formulas and perspectives, and inquire deeply from within our own body and mind. We practice not only letting go of attachments and dualities of right and wrong, but also of “knowing,” releasing the need for ready answers. Every day and every moment is alive–an aliveness that is not based on a fixed meaning—but is reality itself.

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