Every dewdrop manifested in every realm is a dream. This dream is the glowing clarity of the hundred grasses. What requires questioning is this very point. What is confusing is this very point. At this time, there are dream grasses, grasses within, expressive grasses, and so on. When we study this, then roots, stems, branches, leaves, flowers, and fruits, as well as radiance and color are all the great dream. Do not mistake them as merely dreamy.
-Dogen Zenji (Muchu Setsumu)
Our recent Genzo-e sesshin with visiting teacher Kokyo Henkel on Dogen Zenji’s fascicle Expressing a Dream Within A Dream (Muchu Setsumu) was our first time holding sesshin both in-person (from the AZC Zendo) as well as online. Twenty six of us participated – sitting, studying, and illuminating together over the course of 5 days of wondrous teachings.
Sangha member Sondra Caple recounts her experience: “It really hit home to me, that awareness is always present. I hadn’t really thought about awareness being present, even when the mind is dull, distracted, sleepy, as well as clear and sharp. Awareness is always right here, in this moment.”
Then, in the midst of the 4th day of the retreat, something entered our awareness that was rather unexpected. From AZC Ino Bruce Smith:
“It started in late afternoon.
“On one level, this certainly was a nightmare within a dream. At the same time, the resilience and resourcefulness, the patience and persistence of this practice transformed it into yet another dharma gate, sangha coming together to investigate and adapt to a crazy moment.” – Bruce Smith, Ino