Tuesday, May 3, 2011

"Everything Would Drop Away"

I haven't been getting so much out of Dogen this past week, which either means that he was in a bit of a fallow period at the end of 1243 and the beginning of 1244, or else that my eye of practice is a little dull. So, after reading a fascicle this morning, I turned to 'Not Always So', as I have been asked to come up with a Suzuki Roshi quote for a project.
This was the book we studied in my first practice period at Tassajara, and I haven't picked it up so often since then - in a similar vein, I don't own a copy of 'Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind' as I have given away the copies I have bought - and I didn't remember the introduction by Ed Brown. It turned out to be rather relevant to the previous topic of the kyosaku:
"The blows themselves were inconceivably sudden and striking, not in the sense that they were physically intimidating, but they could not be anticipated or timed, so no thought, feeling or sensation could stand up to them. Rather than knocking some sense into you, it was more like knocking the floor out from under you. This could be quite unsettling, but on the other hand quite grounding. For a few moments one could taste freedom from everything, a sense of spaciousness".

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