In Zen practice a koan is a phrase, a conversation, or a saying that a mediator reflects on in order to point to a way of being in the world. The phrase in held in mind – sometimes for months or years at a time – to unravel an openness in practitioners, allowing them to enter into inner regions beyond knowing.
I like keeping this one in mind, which is presented here in a commentary on a saying of Ummon, an 8th Century Zen Master. It challenges my normal commentary and takes me out of the thoughts I buy into every day. Maybe I already have everything I need right now:
Ummon introduced the subject by saying:
I do not ask you about fifteen days ago. But what about in fifteen days time? Come, say a word about this.
He himself replied for them: Every day is a good day.
Commentary by Suzuki : Today does not become yesterday, and Dōgen states that today does not become tomorrow.
Each day is its own past and future and has its own absolute value.
From a transcript of a talk by Suzuki-roshi, Thursday, November 1st, 1962