ZMBM Discussion Questions

Some of you have expressed interest in following the monthly discussion that takes place at about the book Zen Mind Beginner’s Mind.  The next discussion will take place tomorrow on November 5 starting at 7:00pm.

Here’s a pdf of the book:


Here are the questions:

1. p 25-6. What does it mean to say “Right and left leg, mind and body, life and death are two sides of one coin”?

2. p27. What does he mean by “Kill the Buddha!” How do you do this?

3. P28. How do you know if you are existing “right here, right now, having your own body and mind? What is the role of trying?

4. P30. “You and I are just swinging doors”. Please explain.

5. P31. What is he referring to by “The white cloud should not be bothered by the blue mountain”?

6. P31. What does he mean by “So in the realm of pure religion there is no confusion of time and space, or good or bad.”

7. P31. “Do something! Whatever it is, we should do it, even if it is not-doing something.”

8. P27, p35. Rules – People, especially young people, think that freedom is to do just what they want, that in Zen there is no need for rules. The purpose of these rules is not to make everyone the same, but to allow each to express his own self most freely. Perfect freedom is not found without some rules. As long as you have rules, you have a chance at freedom. What is the role of rules in Zen practice? How is that different from our conventional understanding of rules?
What do you think about this point of view?

9. P33. How do you “Let them come, let them go”?

10. How might these paragraphs apply to your daily life?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *