What's your right size?

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This topic contains 1 reply, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Andrew Nicholls (Temple Host) 11 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #2790

    These are a couple of pines from the famous gardens at Tenryu-ji in Kyoto. What perfect weather we had for exploring!

    These pines are just the right size – they don’t pretend to be bigger or smaller than they are – how unlike us!

    This morning I read a story from Dogen’s collection Shinji Shobogenzo.

    Layman Ho-on came full of praise for Master Baso’s enlightened state, and asked him to say something uplifting about ‘original nature’

    Master Baso looked down. Ho-on then praised this teaching, how wonderfully you express the dharma. Master Baso then looked up.

    Later Ho-on said to Baso – I played at being skilful but found out how unskillful I am.

    What’s that all about?

    Baso undermined Ho-on’s view once, and then undermined his view again. When you want uplifting I look down, and when you praise looking down I look up.

    I don’t think he was being contrary for the sake of it. He may have simply been expressing how difficult it is to truly know the dharma – but I think there is also something here about being right sized.

    Ho-on heaps praise on the Master – who looks down – I imaging him frowning (in a silly, mugging way). I am not up there on the pedestal you put me on.

    Ho-on then praises the Master’s hang-dog expression. The Master looks up, I imagine him grinning – I’m not down there either.

    What is your right size? When you know your foolishness and your capacity for love you will know.

    A Buddhist teacher once said to me: confidence and humility are the same.

  • #2792


    Namo Amida Bu.

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