The Book of Equanimity: Case 89
The Five Ranks of Master Tozan are a riveting yet subtle expression of the Buddhist teachings on the interpenetration of the absolute and the relative aspects of all phenomena. In this koan from the Book of Equanimity, Tozan points to the dangers of an overly withdrawn and quietistic practice of self-illumination. He challenges practitioners not to get stuck on "the mountain where no grass can be seen, no obstruction encountered." Even enlightenment, he cautions, can be as much a dead end as any other position. In their robust responses, Tozan's two disciples present their understanding of the fact that our activity in the world is the very activity of the world itself.
Abbot John Daido Loori picks up on this theme and elaborates on the pitfalls encountered by modern practitioners as they navigate the course between the introspection of zazen and social responsibility. He illustrates how the path of non-duality places us in intimacy with all life, allowing us to become active and vital agents of harmony in this universe.
Volume 6 of the Mountain Light Video Library. DVD