Buddha #98 – illuminated by text

Today’s challenge : “Flip to a random page in a book at hand and make something inspired by the first sentence you read.”

Well I lucked out having a book of commentaries on Dogen’s Genjo Koan nearby, and flipping to a page with commentary on the last section depicting a conversation between a monk (Dogen?) and a master:

“Zen master Baoche of Mt. Mayu was fanning himself. A monk approached and said, “Master, the nature of wind is permanent and there is no place it does not reach. Why, then, do you fan yourself?”

” Although you understand that the nature of the wind is permanent,” Baoche replied, “you do not understand the meaning of its reaching everywhere.”

” What is the meaning of its reaching everywhere?” asked the monk again. The master just kept fanning himself. The monk bowed deeply.

The actualization of the buddha-dharma, the vital path of its correct transmission, is like this.

If you say that you do not need to fan yourself because the nature of wind is permanent and you can have wind without fanning, you will understand neither permanence nor the nature of wind. The nature of wind is permanent; because of that, the wind of the buddha’s house brings for the gold of the earth and makes fragrant the cream of the long river.”

Sumi and vermillion pen and ink on Arches 88

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