Master Dogen’s poem ‘Special transmission outside the scriptures’ (adapted)
The Dharma, like an oyster,
Thrown, onto the cliff peak
Waves crashing against the wall of bone
May reach but cannot wash it away
In the common usage, Zen is:
A special transmission outside the sutras
No reliance on words or letters.
When we are sitting, sometimes we are like a cliff. And in that way, sometimes we experience vast space, sometimes tranquillity. Sometimes storms, sometimes faraway birds. Sometimes, as if the weight of the whole ocean pushes against
this faith cliff, this practice cliff.