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Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Whip the Cart

Leaving this whole exchange in mostly as is:

And after this story, Nangaku told Baso, “When a cart-- a cart does not go, do you whip a horse-- the horse or a cart? Which do you whip?” [Laughs.]

And he explained about this koan. Should we hit, a cart or a-- the horse? The cart or the horse?

Dogen Zenji says usually there is no person who hit the cart when [laughs] cart doesn't go. Usually people hit a cow instead of a cart. Usually people do so. But in-- in our way, there should be way to whip a cart. There should be way to whip a cart when cart doesn't go. Usually when you practice zazen, you know, you know how to [laughs], you know, whip-- almost all of you just knows you should whip the cow. And to whip a cow, you practice zazen [laughs]. You are giving whip-- pretty hard one on your practice, without knowing to whip the cart. That is actually what you are doing.

That is usual way, you know. But we should know that there is another way of practice: to whip a cart-- the cart instead of cow. Cow or what? 

Student: Horse.

SR: Horse-- no, no-- not horse. In China [laughs], horse is too fast [laughs].

Student A: Oxen.

Oxen. Okay. Cow is milk cow isn't it? [Laughs, laughter.] Ox-- oxen.

This is something which we should know, or as a Soto priest it is necessary to know. Maybe the best way is to whip the cart instead of the ox. To whip, you know, ox is like you see-- like you understand, ox is symbol of mind-- the picture of, you know, ten oxen.
The cart means body. And it means also zazen-- form-- formal practice of zazen. And ox means attainment, spiritual attainment. And cart means physical practice. ----------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-10-12-B as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC  - Going through Suzuki lectures and posting anything that can stand on its own. Not looking for zingers or "the best of." I find that following these excerpts daily provides another way to experience Suzuki's teaching. - DC