Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Koan 73: Sozan Fulfills Sacred Family Honor

Wisdom Quarterly  via Roshi Jeff Albrizze, (, from The Book of Equanimity, Case 73: "Sozan Fulfills Sacred Family Honor"; translated from “Sozan’s Requited Filial Piety”
Did you hear the one about Sozan? (Ara Sensei/
Depend on grasses, or become attached to trees, and become a ghost.
Hang onto indignity, or hold a grudge, and be cursed by a devil's spell.
When you call in such [departed] people, burn [simulated] paper money [as a funerary offering] and offer a [token] horse.
When you dismiss them, purify the water and write down a charm.
How can the home be made peaceful [free of poltergeists]?

A monk asked Sozan, "When mourning clothes aren't worn,* what then?"
Sozan replied, "Today I have fulfilled my sacred family honor."
"After fulfilling sacred family honor," the monk asked, "then what?"
Sozan said, "Sozan loves to get stumbling drunk."
  • *In Japanese: "Mourning clothes" are worn when a parent died. Here it is symbolically used to designate the clothing worn during Zen practice (
The house of unbroken honor admits no neighbors.
Many years of sweeping the gates, not letting in dust.
Turning from full brightness, the Moon hangs low, a crescent.
As winter solstice passes, yin rises to the east-northeast.
Fulfill sacred family honor anew, and meet with the spring.
Drunken steps, crazy songs: So what if my cap falls off?
Tousled hair, weaving walk, who cares?
Tranquil, replete: a person who is stumbling drunk.

No time for koans: Disaster coming
Science Channel: "NASA UFO Files on the Unexplained" (JR Reporting)
(JA) The impending solar pole shift and Earth disasters
Sozan then said: “You have Zen, the best wine in China, and already have finished three cups, and still you are saying that they did not even wet your lips” (The Gateless Gate). Notice how Seizei refers to himself in the third person. Sozan calls attention to this ploy, repeating Seizei’s use of his proper name. When Seizei acknowledges his teacher’s repetition, Sozan directly addresses Seizei as “you”: “You have Zen...” Sozan thereby implies that Seizei should stop pretending that Seizei is not present and that someone named Seizei, not him, is making these demands. In other words, Seizei has identified himself with the ego and then denied having done so. Wisdom and satisfaction require that we be scrupulously honest with ourselves and become aware of the true self who is capable of monitoring the various machinations of the ego. Notice, too, that Seizei is lying.... Seizei has drunk from the three-fold cup of selfhood, education, and friendship, yet he has appreciated none of these things. This absence of self-awareness, this lack of integrity, causes him to act selfishly and to suffer. In addition to impartial self-knowledge and self-truthfulness, compassion re-emerges as a dimension of integrity.
  • VIDEO: Whistleblower EdSnowden never worked for NSA
  • Edward Snowden didn't actually work for the illegal wiretapping NSA (National Security Agency); he worked for the contractor Booz Allen Hamilton (owned outright by Bush's Carlyle Group). So how did it come to be that Snowden, working for this private firm, was able to leak information about a top secret U.S. surveillance program? More

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