A Wind Bell Sutra

Whole body like a mouth, hanging in space;

Not asking if the wind is east, west, south, or north,

For all others equally, it chatters wisdom;

Chin Ten Ton Ryan Chin Ten Ton.


The last line is meant to be the sound of a Wind Bell ringing. The quote is from Dogen’s Shobogenzo and he is quoting his Chinese master Tendo Nyojo.

Shinshu’s commentary: Ideally we are completely open and present like the ‘whole body hanging in space’. This space is the all of our experience and all of life experienced, right now. There is not separation between ourselves and our life and  the life of others. Our total participation is like the bell that does not discriminate between the breeze’s direction. This willingness and ability to understand the world and our relationships as a sutra teaching us without discrimination, is the wind bell’s gift. When we understand all of life is a buddha’s life, then we respond to each situation with skillful means and wisdom. The sound may be ‘chin ten, ton ryan chin ten ton’, or it might be ‘yes, please’ or ‘no, I don’t think so.’ There is no right or wrong answer in the abstract, only the appropriate response to each moment. How do we understand this?

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