Sunday, June 28, 2009


Below are my favorite responses from Shiva to Devi in the section "Centering" from the book Zen Flesh Zen Bones. That section is considered to be over 4000 years old and a source from which Zen drew much of its inspiration.


O Shiva, what is your reality?
What is this wonder-filled universe?
What constitutes seed?
Who centers the universal wheel?
What is this life beyond from pervading forms?
How may we enter it fully, above space and time,
names and descriptions?
Let my doubts be cleared.


9. Or imagine the five-colored circles of the peacock tail to be your five senses in illimitable space. Now let their beauty melt within. Similarly, at any point in space or on a wall -- until the point dissolves. Then your wish for another comes true.

13. Touching eyeballs as a feather, lightness between them opens into heart and there permeates the cosmos.

36. Sweet-hearted one, meditate on knowing and not knowing, existing and not-existing. Then leave both aside that you may be.

50. At the point of sleep when sleep has not yet come and external wakefulness vanishes, at this point being is revealed.

51. In summer when you see the entire sky endlessly clear, enter such clarity.

62. In rain during a black night, enter that blackness as the form of forms.

64. Just as you have the impulse to do something, stop.

68. Pierce some part of your nectar-filled form with a pin, and gently enter the piercing.

82. Feel the consciousness of each person as your own consciousness. So, leaving aside concern for self, become each being.

91. Wherever your mind is wandering, internally or externally, at this very place, this.

102. Suppose you contemplate something beyond perception, beyond grasping, beyond not being, you.


Zen Flesh Zen Bones: A Collection of Zen and Pre-Zen Writings
Compiled by Paul Reps and Nyogen Sensazki
Tuttle Publishing, 1998, Boston, MA

1 comment: