CityZen is a western style Chan/Zen practice and koan center in the Pacific Zen School led by Rachel Mansfield-Howlett Roshi. Our form of Chan includes a mix of traditional and revitalized practices that open the way to discovering the joy and connection that resides underneath this life. We offer beginning instruction as well as programs that support you all along the way. Everyone is welcome – all faiths, genders, ethnicities, or sexual preference.
Koan of the Week – Baling Haojian's Three Barriers
Baling Haojian’s Three Barriers
Baling was a student of Yunmen Wenyan who established the Yunmen school of Zen that flourished for about 300 years before being absorbed into the Rinzai school. When Baling took up residence as a teacher, he did not create a document of succession for his students. He only used three turning phrases as the way to attain the essence of the Yunmen school.
A person of the way asked, "What is the Tao?"
Baling responded, "A clear-eyed person falls into a well."
A person of the way asked, "What is the blown-feather sword that cuts away delusion?"
Baling responded, "Each Coral branch of coral holds up the moon."
A person of the way asked, "What is old-lady Zen?"
Baling responded, "Fresh snow in a silver bowl."
Yunmen said, "In future, on my remembrance day, just restate these three turning phrases, then you will have repaid my benevolence."