Ceiling lights

Ceiling lights for How is the line to be drawn between constructive appropriations that benefi t society based on compassion and wisdom and destructive appropriations used for gaining advantage in a selfcentered fashion that is antithetical to the ideals of Zen? Is beauty simply in the eye of the beholder or is there a standard of truth to be upheld? To point to a koan- based manner of resolving? or, rather, deliberately leaving unresolved so that the trainee must determine for himor herself the outcome? this complex issue about the best possible use of koans, let us conclude rather enigmatically by citing the following case from number 20 in the Record of Serenity. According to this narrative, master Fayan asks a new trainee named Dizang where he has been residing, that is, from which master’s temple he had been studying. Th is is in the pattern of typical queries like What is your name? or Where have you hung your staff ? Th e novice replies, I have been traveling without design. Th is response refers to the practice of itinerancy, whereby a monk would go around to diff erent monasteries in the mountains of various regions of the country in order to seek out the best teacher. During these travels, there was not necessarily a plan of action in place to let the winds of fate or karma cast the monk’s odyssey wherever the teaching of the dharma might lead. An action plan would defeat the purpose of seeking out moments of spontaneous self- discovery while studying with masters. Probing further, the master asks the purpose of this seemingly aimless wandering and the novice answers, I don’t know. Ceiling lights 2016.

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