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Author: Andrew Palmer

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This is the podcast of Andrew Palmer, a Dharma Teacher in The Open Source Koan Zen Tradition, covering topics related to meditation, koan practice, Zen/Chan, Daoism, spirituality and more. Recent talks and teachings as well as those from prior months/years are posted weekly, so tune in regularly to catch each episode.
163 Episodes
Form Is No Other Than Emptiness, Emptiness No Other Than FormA nice hot kettle of stew. He ruins it by dropping a couple of rat turds in. It's no good pushing delicacies at a person with a full belly. Striking aside waves to look for water when the waves are water.Forms don't hinder emptiness; emptiness is the tissue of form.Emptiness isn't destruction of form; form is the flesh of emptiness.Inside the Dharma gates where form and emptiness are not-twoA lame turtle with painted eyebrows stands...
My Journey

My Journey


In my most recent talk, Talking to a Rock, I referenced a talk from a few years back in which I shared the story of my journey to practice, and said I would post it here. So here it is, dusted off and freshened up a bit, with tales of affinity for the Way via things occurring in early childhood through to adolescence and on to early adulthood, culminating with my participating in the ceremony of taking refuge, which marked the beginning of my journey with The Open Source and Pacifi...
Talking to a Rock

Talking to a Rock


Yunyan asked a student what they had been doing. "I've been talking to a rock." Yunyan asked, "Who spoke first, you or the rock?" When the student didn't reply, Yunyan said, "It was nodding to you before you even said a word."Support the Show.
Nothing will do. What do you do? This is the fundamental koan, the koan that is the common denominator of the thousands of koans.-also-Whatever I do it just doesn't do what do I do?-Shin'ichi HisamatsuSupport the Show.
After several unsuccessful attempts at receiving advice from Vast Obscure… Generalissimo Cloud said, "It is a rare and difficult thing to meet with you, O Heaven! Please give me just one word!" Vast Obscure said, "Ach! The nourishing of the mind! Just stay in the state of non-doing and all things will transform themselves. Drop your body away, vomit out your precise powers of hearing and vision, sink yourself into the forgetting of things, become vastly merged in fluid...
Just Ask Old Mr. Stone

Just Ask Old Mr. Stone


Obstinate and mindlessBlock of Stone,Lying hereOn this green moss,Oblivious of rain and dew,Immune to frost and snow.How many times has this gardenFlourished and Decayed!How often have these flowers and treesBloomed and Faded!Just ask old Mr. Stone -He remembers it all!-Zheng BanqiaoSupport the Show.
Relax Completely

Relax Completely


Let go of hundreds of yearsand relax completely.-Shitou Xiqian, from Song of the Grass Roof HermitageSupport the Show.
Ah Yes, So Natural

Ah Yes, So Natural


Danxia Tianran traveled to meet with Great Ancestor Ma. Upon first seeing one another, Ma had a good look at him and said, "I am not your teacher," advising him to go to Shitou's place. Danxia made the long journey and joined Shitou's community as a layperson, working in the stables and temple kitchen for several years. One day Shitou announced to the assembly, “Tomorrow we're going to clear away the weeds in front of the Buddha's shrine.” The next day everyone arrive...
Dragon murmurings in a dried-up tree aren’t used up -XuedouA student asked Xishuang, “What is ‘dragon murmurings in a dried-up tree’?” Xishuang replied, “I still have joy.”A Student asked Caoshan, “What is ‘dragon murmurings in a dried-up tree’?” Caoshan replied, “The bloodline is not cut off.”A student asked, "Who can hear this?" Caoshan said, "In the whole world, there is no one who does not hear it." The student asked, "What book is 'dragon murmurings' taken from?" Caos...
Today I sat before the cliffs I sat until the mist drew off a single crystal stream a towering ridge of jade a cloud's dawn shadow not yet moving the moon's night light still adrift a body free of dust a mind without a care-from The Collected Songs of Cold Mountain (Hanshan)Red Pine (trans)Support the Show.
The suffering of the Wheel is relentless back and forth stirring up the dust the ant patrol on its endless round the Six Paths are nothing but confusion changing heads and switching faces doesn't free you from your self bring this hell of darkness to an end don't let your mind grow dim-from The Collected Songs of Cold Mountain (Hanshan)Red Pine (trans)Support the Show.
Here's a message for the faithful what is it that you cherish to find the Way to see your nature your nature is naturally so what Heaven bestows is perfect looking for proof leads you astray leaving the trunk to search among twigs all you get is stupid--from The Collected Songs of Cold Mountain (Hanshan)Red Pine (trans)Support the Show.
A tree grew here before the grove its age is twice as great the shifting earth has gnarled its roots wind and frost have parched its leaves people scorn its withered outside no one sees its fine-grained heart but when its bark is stripped away what remains is real-from The Collected Songs of Cold Mountain (Hanshan)Red Pine (trans)Support the Show.
Before the cliffs I sat alone the moon shone in the sky but where a thousand shapes appeared its lantern cast no light the unobstructed spirit is clear the empty cave is a mystery a finger showed me the moon the moon is the hub of the mind-from The Collected Songs of Cold Mountain (Hanshan) Red Pine (trans)Support the Show.
Someone asked, “What is my heart-mind?” Changsha replied, “All the worlds in the universe are your heart-mind.” “If that’s so, then there’s really no particular place for my body to be.” “That’s exactly the place for your body to be,” said Changsha. “Where is that?” “The great ocean, vast and deep.” “I don’t understand.” “Dragons and fish play freely, leaping and diving.”-from Zen's Chinese Heritage by Andy FergusonSupport the Show.
Changsha's Great Way

Changsha's Great Way


Someone asked, "What is the great way?" Changsha said, "It doesn't exclude you." The person asked, "Who is the teacher of all buddhas?" Changsha said, "For the incalculable eon, who has ever concealed this?"-from Zen's Chinese Heritage by Andy FergusonSupport the Show.
A monk asked, "What is the true monk's eye?" Changsha said, "So vast and wide that you can't leave it." Changsha also said, "Those who become buddhas and ancestors can't leave it. The six realms of transmigration can't leave it." The monk said, "I don't understand what it is that they can't leave." Changsha said, "In the day, see the sun. In the night, see the stars." The monk said, "I don't understand." Changsha said, "The lofty mountains are colore...
Changsha entered the hall and addressed the assembly: "I say to you that all worlds pervading the ten directions are the true monk's eye. All worlds pervading the ten directions are the true monk's complete body. Pervading all worlds in the ten directions is your own brilliant light. All worlds in the ten directions are within your own light. And throughout all worlds in the ten directions there is not a being that is not you. This is what I've taught you when I've said that all the bu...
When I look deeplyinto the real form of the universe,everything reveals the mysterious truth of the Tathagata.This truth never fails:in every moment and every placethings can't help but shine with this light.-from Torei Zenji's Bodhisattva's VowSupport the Show.
Yangshan's Headrest

Yangshan's Headrest


Someone asked Yangshan, "Can the dharmakaya expound the dharma?" "I'm not able to expound it," replied Yangshan, "but there is someone else who can." "And where is this person who can expound it?" the questioner continued. Yangshan pushed forward his headrest.from Entangling Vines, Thomas Yuho Kirchner (trans)Support the Show.