Zen Flesh, Zen Bones

How much do I want to read more? 8/10

This book is the source from where many of the zen Stories we heard originate from.
It's great to have them all collected here.


This book includes four books:

Dofuku said: ‘In my opinion truth is beyond affirmation or negation, for this is the way it moves.’
Bodhidharma replied: ‘You have my skin.’
The nun Soji said: ‘In my view, it is like Ananda’s sight of the Buddha-land—seen once and for ever.’
Bodhidharma answered: ‘You have my flesh.’
Dofuku said: ‘The four elements of light, airiness, fluidity, and solidity are empty (i.e. inclusive) and the five skandas are No-things. In my opinion,
No-thing (i.e. spirit) is reality.’
Bodhidharma commented: ‘You have my bones’
Finally Eka bowed before the master—and remained silent.
Bodhidharma said: ‘You have my marrow.’

Old Zen was so fresh it became treasured and remembered. Here are fragments of its skin flesh bones but not its marrow—never found in words.

The problem of our mind, relating conscious to preconscious awareness takes us deep into everyday living. Dare we open our doors to the source of am being? What are flesh and bones for?


Zen might be called the inner art and design of the Orient.
The Zen habit of self-searching through meditation to realize one’s true nature, with disregard of formalism, with insistence on self-discipline and simplicity of living.

It has been said that if you have Zen in your life, you have no fear, no doubt, no unnecessary craving, and no extreme emotion. Neither illiberal attitudes nor egotistical actions trouble you. You serve humanity humbly, fulfilling your presence in this world with loving-kindness and observing your passing as a petal falling from a flower.

1. A Cup of Tea

The professor watched the overflow until he no longer could restrain himself. ‘It is overfull. No more will go in!’
‘Like this cup,’ Nan-in said. ‘You are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?‘