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What is to be done about the world? Barry Magid November 4th 2017

The two koans presented in this talk take two different tacks on how to deal with the world. The first asks - What are you so busy for? Don't just do something, sit there! And the second challenges us with - Here you are, standing your ground, all strong silent and impeccable, but there's work to be done! Ultimately both ask, how do we relate to the affairs of the world?

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The Book of Equanimity, Case 15 Yangshan Plants his Hoe

Guishan asked Yangshan, "Where are you coming from?"
Yangshan said, "From the fields."
Guishan said, "How many people are there in the fields?"
Yangshan planted his hoe in the ground, clasped his hands and stood there.
Guishan said, "On South Mountain there are a lot of people cutting thatch."
Yangshan took up his hoe and he went.

The Book of Equanimity, Case 12 Dizang Planting the Fields


Scholars plow with the pen. Orators plow with the tongue. We patch robed mendicants lazily watch a white ox on open ground, not paying attention to the rootless auspicious grass. How to pass the days?

The Main Case

Dizang asked Xuishan, "Where do you come from"
Xuishan said, "From the South."
Dizang said, "How is Buddhism in the South these days?"
Xiushan said, "There's extensive discussion."
Dizang said, "How can that compare to me here planting the fields and making rice to eat."
Xiushan said, "What can you do about the world?"
Dizang said, "What do you call the world?"

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Barry Magid November 11th 2017 The Freedom found in structure

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