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Mar 3, 2009

Jay Rinsen Chikyo Weik leads a retreat workshop at the Toledo Zen Center on July 27, 2008.

"Shih-Tou's awakening happened as he read this passage from the teachings of the early scholar monk Seng-Chow:

"'The Ultimate Self is empty and void.  Though it lacks form, the myriad things are all of its making.  One who understands the myriad things as the Self, isn't that a sage?'

"That seeming dichotomy right there, the myriad things and the self, the form, the empty, the void, the relative and the absolute became the essential insight that Shih-Tou would plumb the depths of and elucidate in a way that hadn't happened before him, to such a degree that his 'Identity of Relative and Absolute' is a teaching that we chant to this day."

Note: This talk also addresses what it means to "sit with" koans as a practice, and how it relates to concentration practices.

For more information about the Toledo Zen Center, please visit The Toledo Zen Center is a member of the Hermitage Heart Sangha, online at