Zen Corners


Thich Nhat Hanh said, “There are enough Zen Centers. We need more Zen Corners.”


Thich Nhat Hanh was born in Vietnam in 1926. Both Theravada and Mahayana existed side by side in Vietnam. A leader of the Vietnamese Buddhist Peace movement during the wars that shook his country, he became acquainted with the West and was nominated for the Nobel Peace Price by the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

This comment occurred in his retreat center, Plum Village, in France in 1984, during a discussion of the institutional and ethical issues arising in Western Dharma Centers. In Asia a place for practice might be called a temple or monastery. In America it is more apt to be called a Zen or Buddhist Center.

Case #89 in the Blue Cliff Record. “Ungan’s Hands and Eyes”

Ungan asked Dogo, “How does the Bodhisattva Kanzeon use all those many hands and eyes?”

Dogo answered, “It is like someone in the middle of the night reaching behind his head for a pillow.”

Gan said, “I understand.”

Go said, “How do you understand it?”

Gan said, “The who body is hands and eyes.”

Go said, “That is very well expressed, but it is only eight-tenths of the answer.”

Gan said, “How would you say it, Elder Brother?”

Go said, “Throughout the body, the hand and eye.”

VERSE by Dairyu

The exact center is everywhere.
The whole universe is a collection of corners
If you corner the market with centers,
You may lose the open field.

Kyle GetschowComment