Guidepost for the Hall of Pure Bliss

Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Zen Mountain Monastery, 10/24/2019

From Master Hongzhi’s “Cultivating the Empty Field.”

These instructions for zazen can guide the practitioner—you, me, everyone and anyone—into the realm of constancy, purity, bliss and the self. But what is it to truly let go the narrative story lines, the reasoning and the endless explanations, just to “sit within the circle” free of discriminating consciousness, as Hongzhi asks? It is the self within all phenomena, not separate and apart, not at all separate from the world. “Deep existence is beyond forms,” says Hongzhi, and so within the form of this body and mind, Shugen Roshi encourages us to explore with an open heart and mind zazen instructions from a 12th century Zen master.

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