The Buddha, The Dharma, The Sangha

"Spiritual powers and their wondrous functioning--hauling water and carrying firewood." --Layman Pang, upon his realization

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Kobun Chino Otogawa Roshi (1938-2002), was a master of Zen archery... (he was) asked to teach a course at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California. The target was set up on a beautiful grassy area on the edge of a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Kobun took his bow, notched the arrow, took careful aim, and shot. The arrow sailed high over the target, went past the railing, beyond the cliff, only to plunge into the ocean far below. Kobun looked happily at the shocked students and shouted, "Bull's eye!!"

from Upaya Zen Center Weekly Newsletter, 11-7-11 (

I love this story, it makes me feel so free, but the number of times in any given situation when I can step back far enough to see the big picture, to respond out of the big heart, are indeed not many.
Kobun's action is so pure, so joyous! It's a good thing for me to remember when I feel heavy with perceived responsibility, misjudgment, anger or frustration.
There is a way that I can play, but it sometimes takes a change of heart that feels too much like giving in.
What is that all about? How absurd!
And as I think of this giving in, I have to ask myself, what is being capitulated and why would I not give away that swampy morass of delusion, because surely it is the ego self, even in its misery, refusing to release that tight grip.
Well, I begin by turning up the corners of my mouth. That's an old Yoga trick--a gentle smile and a lightening in the heart-space is soon to follow, almost instantly. And the heart softens.
Sure the feeling of misery is still present, don't pretend it is not, but the view enlarges and the horizon expands.
Now where is the Bull's Eye?!?

The eyes experience less stress when they can look upon a wider horizon.

--R.D. Chin

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