Ta Mo’s 18 Hands of the Saint


Do Not delude yourself.

Behold the mind

and you

Behold the Buddha

-from Ta Mo’s Sermon Three canto 7

From the translation by Sifu John Fey


This morning, I decided to revisit, Ta Mo’s 18 hands of the Saint.  It has been a little while since my path has wandered back. I get the sense that I have found a good camping spot for awhile and will probably hang out here frequently for the next few months.

I have been here many times before and made camp, so to speak, it is a place I really enjoy and along with a seated meditation routine, and some mindfulness activities throughout my daily activity, I am at the heart of Chan or Zen practice.

Briefly, Ta Mo’s 18, is both Chi Gung for the Zen Tradition, and the physical representation of 18 stages of a single thought. For a much more in-depth explanation from someone who has walked and continues to walk the path . Get the book, Whole heart of Zen. by Sifu Fey.

So much has been written about this subject, there are pithy and inspirational quotes, there and misleading words always presents when starting to look at the subject of Chan or Zen. It is easy to read and not go and investigate for yourself. That is useless. Read some words from the founder of this Tradition, and then get to practicing. You have to investigate the Mind for yourself.  As for my experience this morning, It was like most mornings, whenever I was distracted, I brought myself back to the activity of contemplating my body/mind in motion.  There is wonder in this process of paying attention.


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