101. The most wonderful thing

Hyakujo is asked by a monk, “What is the most wonderful thing in the universe?” and responds “Sitting here.”

Nyojo re-writes the response as, “Eating rice here”

Dogen comments “I would answer by raising high my staff here”

Hyakujo doesn’t mean that his temple is the best place to do zazen, or that zazen is the most special activity, which Nyojo underscores in his reformulation.

The important word is ‘here’. Something rather than nothing. Fully alive. The great miracle.

We call buddhism wondrous dharma because it can’t be grasped by the mind. That being so, it is completely immaterial if your mind is empty or full, pregnant with wisdom or stagnant with the familiar idiocy. The East Mountain walking isn’t perturbed by the clouds at all.