Moon in a Dew Drop

With palms together,
Good Morning Everyone,

Koans are an interesting form of Zen practice. In the Soto school, we do not use them very much, but there are many Soto teachers who are also trained in the Rinzai sects' methods and use them more extensively. Master Loori of Zen Mountain Monastery in New York state comes to mind. Soto's reluctance to train with koans is not to be taken as dogma. Master Dogen himself was thoroughly conversant with the various koan collections and, indeed, created a collection himself. Master Dogen founded the Soto sect of Zen Buddhism.

What we should not do is replace koan practice with shikantaza. Shikantaza, the practice of just sitting, is foundational to our way. Sitting with a koan in mind is not shikantaza. On the other hand, we have ample opportunity throughout our day to examine life itself: the most profound of koans. And everywhere it presents itself to the mind that sees.

Master Dogen had a phrase, 'moon in a dew drop'. This phrase penetrates deeply the true state of things. Consider it. Is the moon in the dew drop or not?

Be well.


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