Ordinary Mind is the Way

Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, Roshi

Zen Mountain Monastery, 6/30/2019

Gateless Gate, Case 19

Zhouzou asks Master Nanquan, “What is the way?” and is instructed, “Ordinary mind is the way.” What are we to make of this, where clearly there is more below the surface to be reckoned with? This talk is third in a series on sacred mountain training, this time looking at living and practicing within the world of distractions, contradictions and trouble.  Shugen Roshi cites the tenth Ox-herding verses to describe the mystery and groundedness of ordinary mind:

Barefooted and naked of breast,
I mingle with the people
of the world.
My clothes are ragged and dust-laden,
and I am ever blissful.
I use no magic to extend my life;
Now, before me, the dead trees
become alive.

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