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Buddhadharma : Spring 2017
70 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly spring 2 0 1 7 the system completely so that what they wrote was as natural as adjusting your pillow while you sleep (to find this pillow, look in the thirteenth-century koan collection The Book of Equanimity). And then there is the dharma combat ceremony used in Japanese Soto Zen temples to confirm a priest is past the novice rank. In the West, the cere- mony is spontaneous dharma combat used to verify a priest’s understanding. However, the Japanese Soto ceremony is completely scripted, using lines from ancient Chinese poetry. As the scholar William Bodiford says, “When Zen priests perform these words, they live the reality depicted in the Chinese poetry they study.” We don’t have to go to Asia for examples. The classical Jewish prayer book is largely a repetitive pastiche of biblical quotations. For a contempo- rary and highly secular example, consider hip-hop. Here is Hilton Als describing Kanye West’s “No More Parties in LA”: “Featuring Kendrick Lamar, [it] samples work by Walter (Junie) Morrison, of the seventies funk band Ohio Players, as well as Ghostface Killah’s 2000 track ‘Mighty Health.’ The intro is courtesy of Johnny (Guitar) Watson’s 1977 tune ‘Give Me My Love’ and the bridge comes from Larry Graham’s 1980 song ‘Stand Up and Shout About Love.’” This reads like Jorgensen’s footnotes to So Sahn.