Saturday, November 18, 2017

A thousand mountains are covered in snow

One of our Boundless Way Zen miscellaneous koans is a two line verse:  

A thousand mountains are covered in snow.
Why is this one peak not white?

We work with this koan one line at a time.  And the first line is often a temporary stopping place in the koan journey for  many people.  The poet appears to be talking about something evocative and beautiful.  But how can those thousand mountains be demonstrated?

I often encourage people who are stuck here to avoid the trap of trying to think their way out of the problem, and practice simply pausing and looking around.  Where in our ordinary life do we meet those thousand mountains?   What is the awakened life?  How does it show up?  And what about that snow?  The discursive mind sticks fast to categories.  This koan, like so many,  invites us to see the world beyond our usual binary distinctions.  Keep looking!  The promise of  Zen practice is that eventually, the teachings will  reveal themselves. 

No comments:

Post a Comment