« Refugees United | Main | Mazu: Mind is Buddha »

November 11, 2008


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


Thank you, Barry, great post!

Form is emptiness, emptiness is form.

Take care,


What Uku said!


What a great teaching! This is a very clear way to say this. It goes straight to one of the things about Zen that is both wonderful and crazy-making. X means x. But maybe not tomorrow. Maybe then, x means y. And the next day, y might mean y.

But until then, only don't know.

Barry Briggs

Thanks, everyone for your comments. I've just spent the last couple of weeks reading "Ordinary Mind as the Way" - a history of Mazu and Hongzhou school that comprised his followers (Baizhang, Huangbo, Linchi, etc.) This is an historical look at these teachers and their teaching - very revealing in many ways as it breaks down much of the mythology that arose around Chan, lineage, and koans in the years between 700 and 1200. Most of what we "know" about Chan is wrong or, at least misleading. But at its core, the basic teaching remains the same.

On Wednesday and Thursday I'll follow up with two more posts about Mazu and the ways in which he and his teachers used language to cure our disease(s).

Thanks again, Barry

Molly Brown

Within the last hour I felt frustration/irritation arising within me directed towards my husband. As I turned and walked away from him your questions at the end of the post arose clearly in my mind.
"What can I do to liberate myself in this moment? What is my dis-ease in this moment?"

I softened.

Thanks Barry.

The comments to this entry are closed.


  • Zen teachers sometimes use the Ten Ox Herding Pictures to describe the path of awakening. Within this metaphorical framework, the ox symbolizes the secretive, unruly human mind.

My Other Weblogs


  • I’m truly grateful to everyone who leaves a comment on this blog. Even though many comments are generous and thoughtful, I rarely respond. Thank you for your understanding.

American Zen


  • I extend grateful appreciation to my daughter, Susie, who designed this site; to Zen Master Seung Sahn, for crossing the ocean; and to all beings for their never-ending encouragement and teaching.
  • May we together attain enlightenment and save all beings from suffering.

Free e-Books

Finding the Ox