A Stone Woman Bears a Child By Night

“The mountains and waters of the immediate present are the manifestation of the path of the ancient Buddhas. Because they are the self before the emergence of signs, they are the penetrating liberation of immediate actuality. By the height and breadth of the qualities of the mountains, the virtue of riding the clouds is always mastered from the mountains and the subtle work of following the wind as a rule penetrates through to liberation from the mountains. The green mountains are forever walking. A stone woman bears a child by night. If one doubts the walking of the mountains, one doesn’t even yet know one’s own walking.”

–Dogen, founder of the Soto Zen school, 1200-1253

Note: I find it interesting that the founder of Soto Zen was lavish, even gorgeous in his symbolic imagery. On top of that he was an exquisite poet. Many of us today associate Zen with minimalism and austerity . Perhaps those are not essential elements.

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