Blizzard night_DSC4018

I thought I’d abandoned it all

Even my body

And yet this snowy night is cold

(From the Way of Everyday Life)  Hakuyu Taizan Maezumi – Commentaries on The Shobogenzo


In talking about enlightenment and delusion Maezumi Roshi would often say “I prefer delusion.” To grasp enlightenment, to prefer it, to “stink of Zen” is its own kind of delusion.   Grasping enlightenment is sometimes referred  to in the Blue Cliff Record as being a “board carrying fellow” -a carpenter with a board on his shoulder that blocks his view of everything else.

To be stuck in delusion, to think that that everything is enlightenment, that any thing I do is fine,  misses the wonder of the “Great Way” – the beauty of True Self – our inheritance.  One side can make us arrogant, right, the other,  self indulgent and coarse.

As  The Jefferson Airplane said “One pill makes you larger and one pill makes you small.”

To prefer delusion is to become one with your life and death and enter the hall of endless mystery.


This evening the moon shines, pure and white

A magpie shrieks and shrieks in alarm

The lonely sound makes me think of home

But where oh where can I return?



For Joko Beck


photo credit: gregor_y