Nothing left over

November 24th, 2007

Joshu asked Nansen, “What is the Way?” Nansen replied, “Ordinary mind is the Way.”
“Shall I try to seek after it?” asked Joshu. “If you try to seek after it, you will become separated from it.” “How will I know the Way unless I try for it?” Joshu persisted. Nansen said, “The Way is not a matter of knowing or not knowing. Knowing is delusion; not knowing is confusion. When you have truly reached the Way beyond doubt, you will find it as vast and boundless as outer space. How you can explain it by yes or no?”

Making the effort, in these unusual days of unusual events with unusual company in unusual circumstances, to leave no trace of myself. In Zen we call this the effort of no effort. It is the hardest effort of all, but it sure tastes good.

Hundred flowers in Spring, the moon in Autumn,
The cool wind in Summer and Winter’s snow.

If your mind is not clouded with things,
You have the happiest days of your life.


  1. this is beautiful and inspirational and will find its way into my journal 🙂

    Comment by dreamergirl — November 24, 2007 @ 10:02 pm

  2. mm…beautiful.

    Comment by Phyllis Sommer — November 25, 2007 @ 2:25 am

  3. The moon in autumn. We are in late fall here. The leaves that remain are a thoroughly ordinary brown, but enough have fallen that the sky is again appearing behind the trees. At night the moonlight shows us that what we think of as our collection of unfinished chores, our backyard, is the most beautiful place to see the branching shadows of bare trees against the pearly glow of a full moon lighting the ground.

    My dad died at this time of year, and December has been full of deathly thoughts since then, but this year I see so many interesting things happening that he would have appreciated with a laugh or a smiling glance and I know that I must be the person to appreciate those moments now.


    Comment by Chris Austin-Lane — November 25, 2007 @ 7:22 pm

  4. A good time to die so you can see the moon.

    Comment by Karen — November 25, 2007 @ 7:49 pm

  5. Only my brother-in-law noticed the Buddhist writing book, but he said nothing. But then, he noticed the little witches decorating nooks and crannies in our apartment and said nothing about them either. Whatever my beliefs are, my in-laws make it a point not to ask, and I try to make it easy for them not to.

    Comment by marta — November 26, 2007 @ 3:57 am

  6. Marta, I have not found a family member yet who has the slightest interest in my beliefs. That’s OK. Beliefs are what fights are based on.

    Comment by Karen — November 26, 2007 @ 4:24 am

  7. Beliefs are what fights are based on. I’ll remember this along with leave no trace of myself.

    Comment by Moanna — November 26, 2007 @ 1:11 pm

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