Have you slept? Then make your bed. Barry Magid September 9th 2017

This humorous companion koan to Joshu's wash your bowls is meant to make some things clear about practice. Originally Joshu asks the monk, "Have you eaten? You have? Then wash your bowls." In a way he asks, "Have you gotten something?" The monk has, but it's inner and private. The washing is meant to wipe away any sense of having gotten something. But also, washing brings out the experience into functioning in the world. It's not about an inner experience, but about service. Do you take your practice off the cushion and into the world where you do something useful with it? Or do you use inner experiences to warm your hands by?

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The Gateless Gate, Case 7 Make your Bed

The Main Case

Once a student asked the roshi, "I just entered Garrison last night. Could you give me some instruction?"
The roshi asked, "Did you have a good night sleep?"
"Yes I did," said the student.
"Then make your bed," the roshi replied.
The student had an insight.


The roshi opened his mouth and showed his gall bladder and revealed his heart and liver. If this student, hearing it, failed to grasp the truth, he would mistake a bell for a pot.


Because it is so very clear, it takes a very long time to realize.
If you awake to the dream within a dream, you will see that the bed makes you.

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