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Nondual Highlights #2288 - Sunday, October 16, 2005 - Editor:Gloria Lee    

Peace is every step. The shining red sun is my heart.
Each flower smiles with me.
How green, how fresh all that grows.
How cool the wind blows.
Peace is every step.
It turns the endless path to joy.
--Thich Nhat Hanh

posted by Ben Hassine  

Tulips by Sam Pasiencier

"This mind, perfectly and fully realized, moves with a clear, tranquil
spiritual awareness. It encompasses heaven, covers the earth, penetrates
form, and rides with forbidding abruptness. It is a radiant light
shining from the crown of your head, illuminating wherever you are; it
is an awesome wind, rising up at each step you take, enveloping all
things. If you are able to make this mind your own, then even though you
do not seek excellence yourself, excellence comes to you of its own
accord. Without seeking emancipation, you are not hindered by a single


From the web site, "Daily Zen."

posted to Daily Dharma    


Tenzo kyokun:

Instructions for the Tenzo

by Eihei Dogen zenji   selected excerpts:      Do not just leave washing the rice or preparing the vegetables to others but use your own hands, your own eyes, your own sincerity. Do not fragment your attention [21] but see what each moment calls for; [22] if you take care of just one thing then you will be careless of the other. Do not miss the opportunity of offering even a single drop into the ocean of merit or a grain atop the mountain of the roots of beneficial activity. [23]

  The Zen Monastic Standards states, “If the six flavours [24] are not in harmony and three virtues [25] are lacking, then the tenzo is not truly serving the community.”

  Be careful of sand when you wash the rice, be careful of the rice when you throw out the sand. Take continuous care and the three virtues will be naturally complete and the six flavours harmonious.


  Xuefeng [26] once practiced as tenzo under Zen Master Dongshan. [27] Once when he was washing rice, Dongshan said, “Do you wash the sand away from the rice, or the rice away from the sand?”

  Xuefeng said, “I wash them both away together?”

  Dongshan said, “Then what will the community eat?”

  Xuefeng overturned the washing bowl.

  Dongshan said, “You should go and study with someone else. Soon.” [28]


    Senior students, from ancient times, always practiced with the mind which finds the Way and so how can we of later generations not do the same? Those of old tell us, “ For the tenzo, the mind which finds the Way actualizes itself through working with rolled up sleeves.” [29]


  In preparing food never view it from the perspective of usual mind or on the basis of feeling-tones. Taking up a blade of grass erect magnificent monasteries, [35] turn the Wheel of Reality within a grain of dust. If you only have wild grasses with which to make a broth, do not disdain them. If you have ingredients for a creamy soup do not be delighted. Where there is no attachment, there can be no aversion. Do not be careless with poor ingredients and do not depend on fine ingredients to do your work for you but work with everything with the same sincerity. If you do not do so then it is like changing your behaviour according to the status of the person you meet; this is not how a student of the Way is.

 Strengthen your resolve and work whole-heartedly to surpass the monks of old and be even more thorough than those who have come before you. Do this by trying to make as fine a soup for a few cents [36] as the ancients could make a coarse broth for the same amount.


  The difficulty is that present and the past are separated by a gulf as great as between sky and earth and no one now can be compared to those of ancient times. However, through complete practice of seeing the nature of things [37] you will be able to find a way. If this isn't clear to you it is because your thoughts speed about like a wild horse and feeling-tones careen about like a monkey in the trees. Let the monkey and horse step back and be seen clearly and the gap is closed naturally. [38] In this way, turn things while being turned by them. Clarify and harmonize your life without losing the single Eye which sees the context or the two eyes which recognize the details. [39]

Taking up a vegetable leaf manifests the Buddha's sixteen-foot golden body; [40] take up the sixteen-foot golden body and display it as a vegetable leaf. This is the power of functioning freely as the awakening activity which benefits all beings.


A rich buttery soup [74] is not better as such than a broth of wild herbs. [75] In handling and preparing wild herbs, do so as you would the ingredients for a rich feast, wholeheartedly, sincerely, clearly. When you serve the monastic assembly, they and you should taste only the flavour of the Ocean of Reality , the Ocean of unobscured Awake Awareness, not whether or not the soup is creamy or made only of wild herbs. In nourishing the seeds of living in the Way rich food and wild grass are not separate. There is the old saying, “The mouth of a monk is like a furnace.” [76] Bear this in mind. Wild grasses can nourish the seeds of Buddha [77] and bring forth the buds of the Way. [78] Do not regard them lightly. A teacher must be able to use a blade of wild grass to benefit humans and shining beings.

  Do not discriminate between the faults or virtues of the monks or whether they are senior or junior. You do not even know where you stand, so how can you put others into categories. Judging others from within the boundaries of your own opinions, how could you be anything other than wrong? Although there are differences between seniors and juniors, all are equally members of the assembly. [79] Those who had many faults yesterday may be correct and clear today. Who can judge “sacred” from “common.” The Zen Monastic Standards states, “Whether foolish or wise, the fact that one trains as a monk provides for others a gift that penetrates everywhere.

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