The Flavor of Liberation
Dharma Discourse by Konrad Ryushin Marchaj, Sensei
From Cultivating the Empty Field
The Conduct of Moon and Clouds
Featured in Mountain Record 29.2, Winter 2010
The consistent conduct of people of the Way is like the flowing clouds with no grasping mind, like the full moon reflecting universally, not confined anywhere, glistening within each of the ten thousand forms. Dignified and upright, emerge and make contact with the variety of phenomena. Unstained and unconfused, function the same toward all others, since all have the same substance as you. Language cannot transmit this conduct. Speculation cannot reach it. Leaping beyond the infinite and cutting off the dependent, be obliging without looking for merit. This marvel cannot be measured with consciousness or emotion. On the journey, accept your function. In your house, please sustain it. Comprehending birth and death, leaving causes and conditions, genuinely realize that from the outset your spirit is not halted. So we have been told that the mind that embraces all the ten directions does not stop anywhere.
—Zen Master Hongzhi
We do these “Color of Water” retreats annually. We did one in August of last year, only a few months before Daido Roshi died. A week before our departure, he made the decision to discontinue chemotherapy. As we parted company and I headed up north with the group, there was a mix of levity and gravity, a letting go and sadness, and a pinprick accentuation of all sensations and thoughts. This persisted for me throughout our time on the lake. I felt I was bringing him with me, stretching him towards the place he loved so much, or maybe he was always there and I was just beginning to catch up to him, beginning, once again, to see how these mountains and rivers are good for the practice of the Way.