Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Dharma

The dharma is giving you a chance to learn who you really are, and I’m sure you are grateful. How do you keep this dana circulating? You be the dharma as best you can, and the old wheel will to grind out its richness. The closer you are to true intimacy with the dharma, the finer the grind will be.


  1. Dear Aitken Roshi,

    Thank you for these encouraging words.

    Grinding, grinding: I hope I got enough to pay the bills… Jimmy, tell your sister your sorry… I wonder if that chick at Starbucks has a boyfriend… Why do I always get stuck with the dishes…

    Three Full Bows.

    Ted Biringer

  2. Thank you Roshi for this miniature.

    When carving wooden spoons one starts with a saw or ax, then a knife, before progressing from coarse sandpaper grits to finer and finer sandpaper grits. Once the surface is polished it is ready for a food safe finish.

    This cycle of spoon creation repeats over and over. The pile of wooden spoons gets bigger and bigger.

    Boykan wants his walk. Maybe we'll hear the neighborhood owl screech his morning call.

    Hands together in peace.
    Will Simpson

  3. until the grind itself disappears.

  4. Waking in the morning, intimacy calls out with the raven...which way to go? - worries to take me forward, or that call to take me in? Recognize that old wheel, the ancient sound of raven calling through the eons, what a mysterious lure, then the day shows how fine it can be!

  5. Dear Aitken Roshi,

    After seeing (and commenting) on this post, I came across this in my reading:

    In the solitary purity, the ultimate locus, mind of itself is illuminated and pure. If we can observe it truly, mind is instantly illuminated and pure, mind is like a clear mirror. If we can observe it clearly for a year, it will be even more clear and pure; if for three years or five years, even more pure and clear.
    ~Daoxin, Zen Dawn, J.C. Cleary, p.52

    I could not help but marvel at how the universal elements of Zen teaching shine so clearly through the expressions of its earliest masters (like Daoxin) and its contemporary masters (Aitken Roshi). I hope sharing this here is helpful.


  6. Thank you very much, truly inspiring words!


  7. Dear Roshi,

    What, substantially speaking, is Buddhist realisation?

    Thanks & Regards,


  8. Right. Like good chocolate. Or that poor snake I saw on the road.