The Dance of Form and Emptiness: Dongshan’s Five Positions

Debra Seido Martin
Debra Seido Martin

For whom have you washed off your splendid makeup?
The cuckoo’s call urges you to return.

Zen practice is endlessly subtle and ever-changing. Is the dance a waltz or a tango? When we first come to practice, we “see through a glass darkly” and later “face to face.” What is it that moves us forward? What keeps us from getting stuck? In this talk, Seido draws upon Dongshan’s “Five Ranks” teaching, which was one of Kyogen’s favorites, five pairs of koans that have been steady companions, sources of both frustration and inspiration, over the course of her training.

This talk was given on November 16, 2014.