Zen Dojo Zürich


“Winter fog and autumn fog, dew, clouds, spring rain are the true Kesa, which enwraps our bodies.”

Yoka Gengaku

The Kesa is the cloth of Satori. Kesa (Japanese) or Kasaya (Sanskrit) means “ochre”, colour of earth. It is the cloth of the Zen nun and monk, symbol of the transmission from master to disciple, symbolic image of the spiritual life.

After Buddha had realised enlightenment under the Bodhi-tree, he collected burial shrouds, washed them, coloured them and sewed them together. This is how the very first Kesa was created, which the Buddha wore to practice Zazen. This Kesa was passed on from master to disciple, from patriarch to patriarch until this day. Dogen writes: “The Kesa is the heart of Zen, its bone marrow and its bones.” It is not just a piece of cloth, but the very symbol of the Zen mind. When one wears it and practices Zazen, the bad Karma transforms into good Karma, the human becomes Buddha. There are many names to call that: the body of Buddha, the Buddha mind, the cloth of the unformed, of the infinite, of patience, the dress of great compassion, the garment of Satori.

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