No Reason No Use

Doing a thing just for the doing of it

Doing it one way or another

What’s the difference?

Other than preference

The wind and the fan

The wind and the oar

The old Latins had a saying:

“If the wind will not serve, take to the oars”


What is the difference between wind and water?

Between the bird and the fish?

What is the difference between an oar and a fan?

What are their reasons?

What are their uses?


At the end of Genjokoan Dogen says:

Zen master Baoche of Mt. Mayu was fanning himself. A monk approached and said, “Master, the nature of wind is permanent and there is no place it does not reach. When, then, do you fan yourself?”

“Although you understand that the nature of the wind is permanent,” Baoche replied, “you do not understand the meaning of its reaching everywhere.”

“What is the meaning of its reaching everywhere?” asked the monk again. The master just kept fanning himself. The monk bowed deeply.

The actualization of the buddha-dharma, the vital path of its correct transmission, is like this. If you say that you do not need to fan yourself because the nature of wind is permanent and you can have wind without fanning, you will understand neither permanence nor the nature of wind. The nature of wind is permanent; because of that, the wind of the buddha’s house brings for the gold of the earth and makes fragrant the cream of the long river.

Dharma Talk Worth Listening To

Empty Bowl Sangha teacher-Joko Dave Haselwood, student of Suzuki Roshi   “Why We Practice” talk on Sept. 30, 2010 -“to align ourselves with reality” [he’s also not a big fan of self-help books or Big Mind and other purported “shortcuts” ]