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Buddhadharma : Spring 2016
spring 2 0 1 6 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly 53 Do means way, and ko is crossing or meeting, joining or intersecting, communicating or exchang- ing, so kanno doko could be translated literally as “intuition and response, the way of communion.” Other translations include “mutual resonance between stimulus and response” and “sympathetic resonance.” It’s a dynamic term that’s hard to trans- late into English; I’ve found that “mystical commu- nion” speaks well to the feeling of it. Shunryu Suzuki Roshi said, “To ask buddha to come is the meaning of offering incense.” Some- times we create an image of buddha that looks like a person sitting in zazen, place it on an altar, and make an offering to it with the sincere wish to meet awakened nature. We may put forth an inquiry or aspiration, and if we do so wholeheartedly, we may notice a response. I think we all have had this expe- rience of inquiry and response coming up together. When you sit down for zazen but instead start working through all kinds of problems with the conceptual mind, eventually you may catch your- self. A little bit of intention arises to stop and settle right here and now, giving up the endless turmoil of self-centered thought for the benefit of all. We put forth the intention and the response is right there: a deeper relaxation, ease, and presence. Buddha meets us and confirms we are on the right track, and baby bodhicitta is born. This is the illusory sentient being called “me” in mystical communion