Kusen given at a retreat at Asquins, France – October 2020

I am”, an undeniable state which is the Awareness-Presence in which beings and the world of impermanence unfold. Useless to search for a way to attain it. As Master Dogen says: “It’s always already there”.

When a baby learns how to walk, it falls continually and stands up again by pushing against the earth, sure enough. In our lives, we doubt, we struggle & we fall over unceasingly. To get back up we developed the habit of relying on our ideas, our beliefs, our abilities …, which we could call ‘the earth’. But in our life, in its concrete dimension as well as in its spiritual one, we doubt and fall perpetually. And Master Dogen concludes: “To get up, we must push against the sky, otherwise it doesn’t work.” 

The sky which is the entire space of our Mind, silence, Presence and all in all the emptiness which the Buddhas’ and Ancestors’ zazen-contemplation teaches us.

It’s in This that we must take refuge so that we can stand up again when we fall. 

To sit simply and to direct our gaze towards just what these two words “I am” indicate.


A full bilingual transcipt of the kusen is available in the link above