The poem of the fifth teacher of the Zen Temple Tokeiji, the former Princess Yodo:

Heart unclouded, heart clouded;
Standing up or falling down, it is still the same body.

…And some very old questions and answers:
Heart unclouded, what is that?

Ten thousand miles without a cloud, Ten thousand miles of heaven.

Heart clouded, how is that?

In the spring, clouds rise round the mountain And in the cave it is dark.

What is this rising and falling?

The moon sets, and in the pool no reflection; A cloud is born and the mountain has a robe.

My body holds so much. It’s full of history, much farther back than I can remember. It holds my emotions, when it’s able to hold them. It holds my intelligence, my beauty, my ugliness, my limitlessness. It’s so vast, the metaphor for everything.

This is a koan from the Mirror Zen tradition in ancient Kamakura Japan, verses composed in front of the great mirror by the abbesses of Tokeiji. Come join us as we feel our own bodies, holding everything there is to hold.


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