Teachings of a whole lifetime

//Teachings of a whole lifetime

Teachings of a whole lifetime

A monk asked Yun Men: « What are the teachings of a whole lifetime? »
Yun Men replied: « An appropriate response. »

Not really anything else to add…
Yet there remains the question: What is the « appropriate response »?

By | 2015-10-02T15:26:15+01:00 juin 7th, 2013|Textes|5 Comments

About the Author:

Enseignante Zen et poète, Sensei Amy “Tu es cela” Hollowell est née et a grandi à Minneapolis, aux Etats-Unis. Arrivée en France en 1981 pour étudier la littérature et l’histoire, elle y est restée, s’installant à Paris, où elle élève ses deux enfants et gagne sa vie en tant que journaliste. The Zen teacher and poet Amy “Tu es cela” Hollowell Sensei was born and raised in Minneapolis, but came to France in 1981 to study literature and history and has lived in Paris ever since, raising her two children and making a living as a journalist.


  1. uhren fake 23 juillet 2013 at 3 h 33 min - Reply
  2. marta santos 13 juin 2013 at 12 h 36 min - Reply

    At first I thought response meant “verbal answer” (like in “answering to a question”). Them I checked in a dictionary and realised it means a “reaction” rather. Like a suitable reaction, or the appropriate course of action to take under different circumstances.

    –response to treatment – “reacção ao tratamento”;
    –we were hoping for a bigger response –“ estávamos à espera de maior adesão”;
    –her love met with no response – “o amor dela não era correspondido”.

    Therefore the appropriate response is to act appropriately, or “in accordance with”. And this varies accordingly to events and circumstances. As the masters of yore taught us, something that should be anchored in the “here and now”. This instant, this fleeting moment that’s the essence of zazen.

    Later on I thought (but perhaps there’s too much thinking going into this already) the question in
    —“Yet there remains the question: What is the ‘appropriate response’?"—
    must be “rhetorical”. It’s not a question which looks for an answer, but simply wants to make a point. It also works as a sort of koan.

    So I was “answering” instead of respond. Trying to give appropriate verbal answers (intellectual reasoning) instead of an appropriate response. (I guess in koan practice the response is mainly given by an act or gesture of some sort rather than by words – but to say the truth I’m more familiarized with the Soto-school).

  3. wild primula 10 juin 2013 at 22 h 10 min - Reply

    Yet there remains the question: What is the "appropriate response"?

    this one

  4. wild primula 10 juin 2013 at 7 h 14 min - Reply

    A monk asked Yun Men: "What are the teachings of a whole lifetime?"

    Nelson Mandela.
    let’s be with him.

  5. Tiago 9 juin 2013 at 23 h 31 min - Reply

    One might need a lifetime to answer that…

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