Goodness gracious!

Have you ever seen the dark horse eating black grass in the dark black night?

But when the horse has its fill and starts to run, all blazes bright as clear daylight!

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Night goblins

A pair of fellow travellers lost their way and became separated deep in the mountains. One of them wandered aimlessly until overtaken by darkness. He approached a small lonely cottage and asked the householder for lodging. The householder refused, saying he was being haunted by night goblins, but the traveler persisted and was finally allowed to stay.

After supper there was a sudden rattling at the door. The traveler ran to the door and held it fast. All night long the banging and clawing continued outside the door, and the traveler, just as tenaciously, held it secure. When daylight came, the traveler could see that the supposed goblin was the friend he had been separated from the previous day, who had also come to the cottage seeking shelter.

– Norman Waddell’s retelling of a story by Nagarjuna

Zen words for the Heart

That shadow in the guest’s cup never was a snake. How clear, in a dream, the three worlds are. When you wake, all is empty, all the myriad worlds are none.

The ogre outside shoves the door,
The ogre inside holds it fast.
Dripping sweat from head to tail
Battling for their very lives,
They keep it up throughout the night
Until at last when the dawn appears
Their laughter fills the early light –
They were friends from the first.

– by Hakuin

(Cold Mountain) Hanshan’s poems

Saw these at reddit:

1) I stand here and watch the people of this world: all against one and one against all, angry, arguing, plotting and scheming. Then one day, suddenly, they die. And each gets one plot of ground: four feet wide, six feet long. If you can scheme your way out of that plot, I’ll set the stone that immortalises your name.

2) East of me, the old lady got rich three or four years ago. Used to be poorer than me, now she laughs that I don’t have money. She laughs that I’ve fallen behind. I laugh that she’s gotten ahead. Both of us laughing, no stopping us. East, and West.

Dreaming and awakening

Imagine a child sleeping next to its parents, dreaming that it’s being beaten. The parents cannot help the child no matter how much it suffers, for no one can enter the dreaming mind of another. If the child could awaken, it would be freed of this suffering automatically. In the same way, one who realises that his own mind is buddha frees himself instantly from the suffering that arises from the ceaseless round of birth-and-death.

– Bassui Zenji

Buddhism’s most important concern

Dogen Zenji said, “The clarification of life and death – this is Buddhism’s most important concern.”

‘Clarification’ differs from belief. It refers to seeing things clearly for what they are.

What form does life and death reveal to us when we see them clearly in enlightenment? What is their true form? The answer is that the content of life and death is totally empty; their true form is no form.

– Koun Yamada

Two truths

When we deal with worldly affairs, we do not disturb the ultimate reality.

When we contemplate the ultimate reality, we do not avoid worldly affairs.

– Original Teachings of Chan Buddhism

Washing blood in blood

Clearing thoughts from the mind as they arise is like washing away blood in blood. You may succeed in washing away the original blood, but you’re still polluted by the blood you washed in. No matter how long you keep washing, the bloodstains never disappear.

– Bankei