“Let it go” is almost a mantra in the dojo, where we are encouraged to abandon discursive thinking and return to our single point of practice. It’s instructive to consider the mental and emotional baggage you bring to zazen and thus discover that it is unnecessary. But what if you see the emptiness of phenomena? What if you and I actually come with “nothing,” like the monk in this story? What does it mean to let go of that? Chao chou’s wise responses are humorous and liberating.
This teisho, based on Case 6 of Entangling Vines, was given by Maggie Gluek, roshi at Rohatsu sesshin, 2022