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See beyond all boundaries...
Harada Roshi

In the pot, sun and moon shine eternally

Kochu jitsugetsu nagashi
In the pot, sun and moon shine eternally 

There was an old man in a small town who operated a pharmacy. In his store was a big jar of medicine, and that one medicine worked for any malady. No matter who came in or what their problem was, the jar's contents fixed it. Everyone in town trusted the man and his medicine implicitly. But no one knew where he lived. In the evening they would see him closing the shop, but no one ever saw where he went. Each night, the old man waited until no one was looking and then secreted himself in the jar that held the medicine. Eventually, a town official who lived nearby noticed this. The next day, the official went to the old man's store and greeted him with great respect with gifts of sake and rich food. Immediately the old man understood that the official knew his secret. "You want to go into this big jar, don't you? Well, I will help you. Hold my kimono and close your eyes, and you can come with me." The official did as he was told, and suddenly his body shrank. The old man then told him to open his eyes, and what he saw was a different world! How huge and spacious everything was! He saw an enormous house and a great garden filled with flowers and trees with ripened fruit. In the lake many fish were swimming, and the many rooms of the house were filled with treasures. He forgot about the passing of time. Though normally he was consumed by work and worry, here his troubles vanished. He wondered how this could be. Because the old pharmacist could know his thoughts, he said without prompting, "I am from an enchanted land. Because I made a mistake, I was sent down to Earth. Now I have been forgiven and can return to the world of gods and heavenly beings. I saw your heart of goodwill, and I wanted to show you a little corner of this heavenly realm, but this isn't a place you can stay. Let's drink a cup of sake together and then say farewell." The official drank the sake and felt woozy. When his head cleared, he found himself back in his office. He knew that the world in the pot was beyond time and space, an absolute world within our mind. The sun and moon shine within all of us. To realize the source of this true Big Mind and not be moved around by things is what the practice of zazen brings us. We can all realize this absolute power within our own life and mind. 

from "Moon by the Window" 
Roshi Shodo Harada 


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