The Zen dialogue between the Master and his disciple, with which the Zen Master used his statements to trigger the "Great Doubt" and to test the progress of his disciple. If you can say a suitable sweeping word for the individual cases, then you see that the meeting has not yet ended. Can not you, then...
The Gateless Gate
1 Joshu`s Dog
A monk asked Joschu, "Has a dog the Buddha Nature?" Joshu answered,
In order to master Zen, you must pass the barrier of the patriarchs. To attain this subtle realization, you must completely cut off the way of thinking. If you do not pass the barrier, and do not cut off the way of thinking, then you will be like a ghost clinging to the bushes and weeds. Now, I want to ask you, what is the barrier of the patriarchs? Why, it is this single word "Mu." That is the front gate to Zen. Therefore it is called the gateless gate of Zen. If you pass through it, you will not only see Joshu face to face, but you will also go hand in hand with the successive patriarchs, entangling yotp: eyebrows with theirs, seeing with the same eyes, hearing with the same ears. Isn't that a delightful prospect? Wouldn 't you like to pass this barrier? Arouse your entire body with its three hundred and sixty bones and joints and its eighty-four thousand pores of the skin; summon up a spirit of great doubt and concentrate on this word "Mu." Carry it continuously day and night. Do not form a nihilistic conception of vacancy, or a relative conception of "has" or "has not." It will be just as if you swallow a red-hot iron ball, which you cannot spit out even if you try. All the illusory ideas and delusive thoughts accumulated up to the present will be exterminated, and when the time comes, internal and external will be spontaneously united. You will know this, but for yourself only, like a dumb man who has had a dream. Then all of a sudden an explosive conversion will occur, and you will astonish the heavens and shake the earth. It will be as if you snatch away the great sword of the valiant general Kan'u and hold it in your hand. When you meet the Buddha, you kill
him; when you meet the patriarchs, you kill them. On the brink of life and death, you command perfect freedom; among the sixfold worlds and four modes of existence, you enjoy a merry and playful samadhi. Now, I want to ask you again, "How will you carry it out?" Employ
every ounce of your energy to work on this "Mu." If you hold on without interruption, behold: a single spark, and the holy candle is lit!
The dog, the Buddha Nature,
The pronouncement, perfect and final.
Before you say it has or has not,
You are a dead man on the spot.
2 Hyakujo' s Fox
When Hyakujo Osho delivered a certain series of sermons, an old man always followed the monks to the main hall and listened to him. When the monks left the hall, the old man would also leave. One day, however, he remained behind, and Hyakujo asked him, "Who are you, standing here before me?" The old man replied, "I am not a human being. In the old days of Kashyapa Buddha, I was a head monk, living here on this mountain. One day a student asked me, 'Does a man of enlightenment fall under the yoke of causation or not?' I answered, 'No, he does not.' Since then I have been doomed to undergo five hundred rebirths as a fox. I beg you now to give the turning word to release me from my life as a fox. Tell me, does a man of enlightenment fall under the yoke of causation or not?" Hyakujo answered, "He does not ignore causation." No sooner had the old man heard these words than he was enlightened. Making his bows, he said, "I am emancipated from my life as a fox. I shall remain on this mountain. I have a favor to ask of you: would you please bury my body as that of a dead monk." Hyakujo had the director of the monks strike with the gavel and inform everyone that after the midday meal there would be a funeral service for a dead monk. The monks wondered at this, saying, "Everyone is in good health; nobody is in the sick ward. What does this mean?" After the meal Hyakujo led the monks to the foot of a rock on the far side of the mountain and with his staff poked out the dead body of a fox and performed the ceremony of cremation. That evening he ascended the rostrum and told the monks the whole story. Obaku thereupon asked him, "The old man gave the wrong answer and was doomed to be a fox for
five hundred rebirths. Now, suppose he had given the right answer, what would have happened then?" Hyakujö said, "You come here to me, and I will tell you." öbaku went up to Hyakujo and boxed his ears. Hyakujo clapped his hands with a laugh and exclaimed, "I was thinking that the barbarian had a red beard, but now I see before me the redbearded barbarian himself."
Not falling under causation: how could this
make the monk a fox. Not ignoring causation how could this make the old man emancipated? If you come to understand this, you will realize how old Hyakujo would have enjoyed five hundred rebirths as a fox.
Not falling, not ignoring:
Two faces of one die.
Not ignoring, not falling:
A thousand errors, a million mistakes.
3 Gutei Raises a Finger
Whenever Gutei Osho was asked about Zen, he simply raised his finger. Once a visitor asked Gutei's boy attendant, "What does your mast teach?" The boy too raised his finger. Hearing of this, Gutei cut off the boy's finger with a knife. The boy, screaming with pain, began run away. Gutei called to him, and when he turned around, Gutei raised l finger. The boy suddenly became enlightened. When Gutei was about to pass away, he said to his assembled monks
"I obtained one-finger Zen from Tenryu and used it all my life but I did not exhaust it." When he had finished saying this, he entered in eternal Nirvana.
The enlightenment of Gutei and of the does not depend on the finger. If you understand this, Tenryu, Gutei, the boy, and you yourself are all run through with one skewer.
Gutei made a fool of old Tenryu,
Emancipating the boy with a single slice,
Just as Kyorei cleaved Mount Kasan
To let the Yellow River run through.
4 The Western Barbarian with No Beard
Wakuan said, "Why has the Western Barbarian no beard?"
Study should be real study, enlightenment should be real enlightenment. You should once meet this barbarian directly to be really intimate with him. But saying you are really intimate with him already divides you into two.
Don't discuss your dream before a fool.
Barbarian with no beard
Obscures the clarity.
5 Kyogen's "Man up in a Tree"
Kyogen Osho said, "It is like a man up in a tree hanging from a branch with his mouth; his hands grasp no bough, his feet rest on no limb. Someone appears under the tree and asks him, 'What is the meaning of Bodhidharma's coming from the West?' Ifhe does not answer, he fails to respond to the question. If he does answer, he will lose his life. What would you do in such a situation?"
Even if your eloquence flows like a river, it is of no avail. Though you can expound the whole of Buddhist literature, it is of no use. If you solve this problem, you will give life to the way that has been dead until this moment and destroy the way that has been alive up to now. Otherwise you must wait for Maitreya Buddha and ask him.
Kyögen is truly thoughtless;
His vice and poison are endless.
He stops up the mouths of the monks
And devil's eyes sprout from their bodies.
6 The Buddha Holds Out a Flower
When Shakyamuni Buddha was at Mount Grdhrakuta, he held out a flower to his listeners. Everyone was silent. Only Mahakashyapa broke into a broad smile. The Buddha said, "I have the True Dharma Eye, the Marvelous Mind of Nirvana, the True Form of the Formless, and the Subtle Dharma Gate, independent of words and transmitted beyond doctrine. This I have entrusted to Mahakashyapa."
Golden-faced Gautama really disregarded his listeners. He made the good look bad and sold dog's meat labeled as mutton. He himself thought it was wonderful. If, however, everyone in the audience had laughed, how could he have transmitted his True Eye?
And again, if Mahakashyapa had not smiled, how could the Buddha have transmitted it? If you say the True Eye of Dharma can be transmitted then the golden-faced old man would be a city slicker who cheats the country bumpkin. If you say it cannot be transmitted, then why did
Buddha approve of Mahakashyapa?
Holding out a flower,
The Buddha betrayed his curly tail.
Heaven and earth were bewildered
At Mahakashyapa's smile.
7 Joshu's "Wash Your Bowl"
A monk said to Joshu, "I have just entered this monastery. Please teach me." "Have you eaten your rice porridge?" asked Joshu. "Yes, I have," replied the monk. "Then you had better wash your bowl," said Joshu. With this the monk gained insight.
When he opens his mouth, Joshu shows his gallbladder. He displays his heart and liver. I wonder if this monk really did hear the truth. I hope he did not mistake the bell for a jar.
Endeavoring to interpret clearly, You retard your attainment.
Don't you know that flame is fire? Your rice has long been cooked.
8 Keichü the Wheelmaker
Gettan Osho said, "Keicha, the first wheelmaker, made a cart whose wheels had a hundred spokes. Now, suppose you took a cart and removed both the wheels and the axle. What would you have?"
If anyone can directly master this topic, his eye will be like a shooting star, his spirit like a flash of lightning.
When the spiritual wheels turn,
Even the master fails to follow them.
They travel in all directions, above and below,
North, south, east, and west.
9 Daitsu Chisho Buddha
A monk asked Kyo Seije, "Daitsü Chishö Buddha sat in zazen for ten kalpas and could not attain Buddhahood. He did not become a Buddha. How could this be?" Seijo said, "Your question is quite self-explanatory."
The monk asked, "He meditated so long; why could he not attain Buddhahood?" Seijo said, "Because he did not become a Buddha."
I allow the barbarian's realization, but I do not allow his understanding. When an ignorant man realizes it, he is a sage. When a sage understands it, he is ignorant.
Better emancipate your mind than your body;
When the mind is emancipated, the body is free,
When both body and mind are emancipate,
Even gods and spirits ignore worldly power.
10 Seizei Is Utterly Destitute
Seizei said to Sozan, "Seizei is utterly destitute. Will you give him support?" Sözan called out, "Seizei!" Seizei responded, "Yes, sir!"
Sozan said, "You have finished three cups of the finest wine in China, and still you say you have not yet moistened your lips!"
Seizei pretended to retreat. What was his scheme? Sozan had the eye of Buddha and saw through his opponent's motive. However, I want to ask you at what point did Seizei drink wine?
Poverty like Hantan's,
Mind like Köu' s;
With no means of livelihood,
He dares to rival the richest.
11 Joshu Sees the Hermits
Joshu went to a hermit's cottage and asked, "Is the master in? Is the master in?" The hermit raised his fist. Josho said, "The water is too shallow to anchor here,'' and he went away.
Coming to another hermit's cottage, he asked again, "Is the master in? Is the master in?" This hermit, too, raised his fist. Jösho said, "Free to give, free to take, free to kill, free to save," and he made a deep bow.
Both raised their fists; why was the one accepted and the other rejected? Tell me, what is the difficulty here? If you can give a turning word to clarify this problem, you will realize that Joshu's tongue has no bone in it, now helping others up, now knocking them down, with perfect freedom. However, I must remind you: the two hermits could also see through Joshu. If you say there is anything to choose between the two hermits, you have no eye of realization. If you say there is no choice between the two, you have no eye of realization.
The eye like a shooting star,
The spirit like lightning;
A death-dealing blade,
A life-giving sword.
12 Zuigan Calls His Master
Zuigan Gen osho called to himself every day, "Master!" and answered, "Yes, sir!" Then he would say, "Be wide awake!" and answer, "Yes, sir! "Henceforward, never be deceived by others!" "No, I won't!"
Old Zuigan buys and sells himself He takes out a lot of god-masks and devil-masks and puts them on and plays with them. What for, eh? One calling and the other answering; one wide awake, the other saying he will never be deceived. If you stick to any of them, you will be a failure. If you imitate Zuigan, you will play the fox.
Clinging to the deluded way of consciousness,
Students of the Way do not realize truth.
The seed of birth and death through endless eons:
The fool calls it the true original self.
13 Tokusan Holds His Bowls
One day Tokusan went down toward the dining room, holding his bowls. Seppo met him and asked, ''Where are you off to with your bowls? The bell has not rung, and the drum has not sounded." Tokusan turned and went back to his room. Seppö mentioned this to Ganto, who remarked, ''Tokusan is renowned, but he does not know the last word." Tokusan heard about this remark and sent his attendant to fetch Ganto. "You do not approve of me?'' he asked. Ganto whispered his meaning. Tokusan said nothing at the time, but the next day he ascended the rostrum, and behold! he was very different from usual! Ganto, going toward the front of the hall, clapped his hands and laughed loudly, saying, "Congratulations! Our old man has got hold of the last word. From now on, nobody in this whole country can outdo him!"
As for the last word, neither Ganto nor Tokusan has ever dreamed of it! When you look into the matter, you find they are like puppets on the shelf!
If you realize the first,
You master the last. The first and the last
Are not one word.
14 Nansen Cuts the Cat in Two
Nansen Osho saw monks of the Eastern and Western halls quarreling over a cat. He held up the cat and said, "If you can give an answer, you will save the cat. If not, I will kill it." No one could answer, and Nansen cut the cat in two. That evening Joshu returned, and Nansen told him of the incident. Joshu took off his sandal, placed it on his head, and walked out, "If you
had been there, you would have saved the cat," Nansen remarked.
Tell me, what did Josho mean when he put the sandal on his head? If you can give a turning word on this, you will see that Nansen's decree was carried out with good reason. If not, "Danger!"
Had Joshu been there,
He would have done the opposite;
When the sword is snatched away,
Even Nansen begs for his life.
15 Tozan's Sixty Blows
Tozan came to study with Ummon. Ummon asked, "Where are you from?" "From Sato," Tozan replied. "Where were you during the summer?" "Well, I was at the monastery of Hozu, south of the lake." "When did you leave there?" Ummon asked. "On August 25" was Tozan's reply. "I spare you sixty blows," Ummon said. The next day Tozan came to Ummon and said, "Yesterday you said you spared me sixty blows. I beg to ask you, where was I at fault?" "Oh,
you rice bag!" shouted Ummon. "What makes you wander about, now west of the river, now south of the lake?" Tozan thereupon came to a mighty enlightenment experience.
If Ummon had given Tozan the true food of Zen and encouraged him to develop an active Zen spirit, his school would not have declined as it did. Tozan had an agonizing struggle through the whole night, lost in the sea of right and wrong. He reached a complete impasse. After waiting for the dawn, he again went to Ummon, and Ummon again made him a picture book of Zen. Even though he was directly enlightened, Tozan could not be called brilliant. Now, I want to ask you, should Tozan have been given sixty blows or not? If you say yes, you admit that all the universe should be beaten. If you say no, then you accuse Ummon of telling a lie. If your ally understand the secret, you will be able to br athe out Zen spirit with the very mouth of Tozan.
The lion had a secret to puzzle his cub:
The cub crouched, leaped and slied forward.
The second time, a casual move led to checkmate:
The first arrow was light, but the second went deep.
16 When the Bell sounds
Unmon said, "The world is vast and wide; Why do you put on your seven-piece robe at sound of the bell?"
In studying Zen, you should not be swayed by sounds and forms. Even though you attain insight when hearing a voice or seeing a form, this is simply the ordinary way of things. Don't you know that th real Zen student commands sounds, controls forms, is clear-sighted at every event and free on every occasion? Granted you are free, just tell me: Does the sound come to the ear or does the ear go to the sound? If both sound and silence die away, at such a juncture how could you talk of Zen? While listening with your ear, you cannot tell. When hearing with your eye, you are truly intimate.
With realization, things make one family;
Without realization, things are separated in a thousand ways.
Without realization, things make one family;
With realization, things are separated in a thousand ways.
17 Cho the National Teacher Gives Three CallsCaseThe National Teacher called his attendant three times, and three times the attendant responded. The NationaI Teacher said, "I long feared that I was betraying you, but really it was you who were betraying me."CommentThe National Teacher called three times, and his tongue fell to the ground. The attendant responded three times, and he gave his answer with brilliance. The National Teacher was old and lonely; he held the cow's head and forced it to eat grass. The attendant would have none of it; delicious food has little attraction for a man who is satiated. Tell me, at what point was the betrayal? When the country is flourishing, talent is priced. When the home is wealthy, the children are proud.Verse
He carried an iron yoke with no hole And left a curse to trouble his descendants. If you want to hold up the gate and the doors, You must climb a mountain of swords with bare feet.
18 Tozan' s "Masagin"
A monk asked Tozan, ''What is Buddha?" Tozan replied, "Masagin [three pounds of flax].
Old Tozan attained the poor Zen of a clam. He opened the two halves of the shell a little and exposed all the liver and intestines inside. But tell me, how do you see Tozan?
"Three pounds of flax" came sweeping along;
Close were the words, but closer was the meaning.
Those who argue about right and wrong
Are those enslaved by right and wrong.
19 Nansen's "Ordinary Mind Is the Way"
Joshu asked Nansen, "What is the Way?" "Ordinary mind is the Way," Nansen replied. "Shall I try to seek after it?" Joshu asked. "If you try for you will become separated from it," responded Nansen. "How can I know the Way unless I try for it?" persisted jeshn. Nansen said, "The Way is not a matter of knowing or not knowing. Knowing is delusion; not knowing is confusion. When you have really reached the true Way beyond doubt, you will find it as vast and boundless as outer space. How can it be talked about on the level of right and wrong?" With these words Joshu came to a sudden realization.
Nansen dissolved. and melted away before Jöshn's questions, and could not offer a plausible explanation. Even though Joshu comes to a realization, he must delve into it for another thirty years before he can fully understand it.
The spring flowers, the autumn moon;
Swnmer breezes, winter snow.
If useless things do not clutter your mind,
You have the best days of your life.
20 The Man of Great Strength
Shogen Osho asked, "Why is it that a man of great strength does not lift his legs?" And he also said, "It is not the tongue he speaks with."
It must be said that shegen shows us all his stomach and intestines. But alas, no one can appreciate him! And even if someone could appreciate him, let him come to me, and I'll beat him severely. Why? If you want to find pure gold, you must see it through fire.
Liftin his leg, he kicks up the Scented Ocean;
Lowenng his head, he looks down on the fourth Dhyana heaven. There is no space vast enough for his body. Now, somebody write the last line here.
21 Ummon's "Kanshiketsu"
A monk asked Unmon, "What is Buddha?" Unmon replied "Kanshiketsu!"
Ummon was too poor to prepare plain food, too busy to speak from notes. He hurriedly took up shiketsu to support the Way. The decline of Buddhism was thus foreshadowed.
Lightning flashing, Sparks shooting;
A moment's blinking, Missed forever.
22 Kashyapa's "Knock down the FlagPole"
Ananda asked Kashyapa, "Th World-honored One gave you the golden robe; did he give you anything else?" "Anandal" cried Kashyapa. "Yes, sir!" answered Ananda . "Knock down the flagpole at the gate," said Kashyapa.
If you can give a turning word at this point, see that the meeting at Mount Grdhrakuta is still solemnly continuing. If not, then this is what Vipasyin Buddha worried about from remote ages: up to now he has still not acquired die essence.
Tell Dle-question or answer-which was more intimate?
Many have knit their brows over this;
Elder brother calls, younger brother answers, and they betray
the family secret.
They had a special spring, not one of yin and yang.
23 Think Neither Good Nor Evil
The Sixth Patriarch was pursued by the monk Myo as far as Taiyu Mountain. The patriarch, seeing Myo coming, laid the robe and bowl on a rock and said, "This robe represents the faith; it should not be fought over. If you want to take it away, take it now." Myo tried to move it, but it was as heavy as a mountain and would not budge. Faltering and trembling, he cried out, ''I came for the Dharma, not for the robe. I beg you, please give me your instruction." The patriarch said, "Think neither good nor evil. At this very moment, what is the original self of the monk Myo?" At these words, Myo was directly illuminated. His whole body was covered with sweat. He wept and bowed, saying, ''Besides the secret words and the secret meaning you have just now revealed to me, is there anything else, deeper still?" The patriarch said, "What I have told you is no secret at all. When you look into your own true self, whatever is deeper is found right there." Myo said, "I was with the monks under Obai for many years but could not realize my true self But now, receiving your instruction, I know it is like a man drinking water and knowing whether it is cold or warm. My lay brother, you are now my teacher." The patriarch said, "If you say so, but let us both call Obai our teacher. Be mindful to
treasure and hold fast to what you have attained."
The Sixth Patriarch was, so to speak, hurried into hdping a man in an emergency, and he displayed a grandmotherly kindness. It is as though he peeled a fresh lichi, removed the seed, put it in your mouth, and asked you to swallow it down.
You cannot describe it; you cannot picture it;
You cannot admire it; don't try to eat it raw.
Your true self has nowhere to hide;
When the world is destroyed, it is not destroyed.
24 Fuketsu's Speech and Silence
A monk asked Fuketsu, "Both speech and silence are faulty in being ri or bi. How can we escape these faults?" Fuketsu said, "I always remember the spring in Konan, where the patridges sind; How fragrant the countless flowers!"
Fuketsu's Zen spirit was like lightning and opened a clear passage. However, he was entangled in the monk's words and could not cut them off. If you can really grasp the problem, you can readily find the way out. Now, putting language samadhi aside, say it in your own words.
He does not use a refined phrase;
Before speaking, he has already handed it over.
If you chatter on and on,
You will find you have lost your way.
25 Kyoan's Dream
In a dream Kyozan Osho went to Maitreya' s place and was led in to sit in the third seat. A senior monk struck with a gavel and said "Today the one in the third seat will speak." Kyozan rose and striking with the gaveI said "The truth of Mahayana is beyond the four propositions and transcends the hundred negations. Taicho! Taicho!" (Hear the truth!)
Now tell me, did Kyozan preach or did he not? If he opens his mouth, he is lost; if he seals his mouth, he is lost. Even if he neither opens nor shuts his mouth, he is a hundred and eight
thousand miles away from the truth.
In broacljaylight, under the blue sky,
He fortes a dream in a dream;
He makes up a monstrous story
And tries to deceive the whole crowd.
26 Two Monks Roll Up the Blinds
When the monks assembled before the midday meal to listin to the lecture, the great Hogen of Seiryo pointed at the bamboo blinds. Two monks simultaneously went and rolled them up. Hogen said, "One gain, one loss."
Tell me, who gained and who lost? If you have an eye to penetrate the secret, you will see where Seiryö Kokushi failed. However, I warn you strongly against discussing gain and loss.
Rolling up the blinds, the great sky is open,
But the great sky does not come up to Zen.
Why don't you throw them all down from the sky,
And keep your practice so close that no air can escape?
27 Nansen's "Not Mind, Not Buddha, Not Things''
A monk asked Nansen, "Is there any Dharma that has not been preached to the people?" Nansen answered, "There is." "What is the truth that has not been taught?" asked the monk. Nansen said, "It is not mind; it is not Buddha; it is not things."
At this question, Nansen used up all his treasure and was not a little confused.
Talking too much spoils the virtue;
Silence is truly unequaled,
Let the mountains become the sea;
I'll give you no comment.
28 Ryutan Blows Out the Candle
Tokusan asked Ryutan about Zen far into the night. At last Ryutan said, "The night is late. Why don't you retire?" Tokusan made his bows and lifted the blinds to withdraw, but he was met by darkness. Turning back to Ryutan, he said, "It is dark outside." Ryutan lit a paper candle and
handed it to him. Tokusan was about to take it when Ryutan blew it out. At this, all of a sudden, Tokusan went through a deep experience and made bows.
Ryutan said, "What sort of realization do you have?" "From now on," said Tokusan, "I will not doubt the words of an old osho who is renowned everywhere under the sun." The next day Ryutan ascended the rostrum and said, "I see a fellow among you. His fangs are like the sword tree. His mouth is like a blood bowl. Strike him with a stick, and he won't turn his head to look at you. Someday or other, he will climb the highest of the peaks and establish our Way there."
Tokusan brought his notes Diamond Sutra to the front of the hall, pointed to them with a and said, "Even though you have exhausted the abstruse doctrines, it is like placing a hair in a vast space. Even though you have learned all the secrets of the world, it is like a drop of water dripped on the great ocean." And he burned all his notes. Then making bows, he took his leave of his teacher.
Before Tokusan crossed the barrier from his native place, his mind burned and his mouth uttered bitterness. He went southward, intending to stamp out the doctrines of special transmission outside the sutras. When he reached the road to Reishu, he asked an old woman to let him have lunch to "refresh the mind." "Your worship, what sort of literature do you carry in your pack?" the old woman asked. "Commentaries on the Diamond Sutra," replied Tokusan. The old woman said, "I hear it is said in that sutra, 'The past mind cannot be held, the present mind cannot be held, the future mind cannot be held.' Now, I would like to ask you, what mind are you going to have refreshed?'' At this question Tokusan was dumbfounded. However, he did not remain inert under her words but asked, "Do you know of any good teacher around here?" The old woman said, "Five miles from here you will find Ryutan Osho."
Coming to Ryutan, Tokusan got the worst of it. His former words were inconsistent with his later ones. As for Ryutan, he seemed to have lost all sense of shame in his compassion toward his son. Finding a bit of live coal in the other, enough to start a fire, he hurriedly poured on muddy water to annihilate everything at once. A little cool reflection tells us it was all a farce.
Hearing the name cannot surpass seeing the face;
Seeing the face cannot surpass hearing the name.
He may have saved his nose,
But alas! he lost his eyes.
29 The Sixth Patriarch's ''Your Mind Moves''
The wind was flapping a temple flag, and two monks started an argument. One said the flag moved, the other said the wind moved; they argued back and forth but could not reach a conclusion. The Sixth Patriarch said, "It is not the wind that moves, it is not the flag that moves; it is your mind that moves." The two monks were awe-struck.
It is not the wind that moves; it is not the flag that moves; it is not the mind that moves. How do you see the patriarch? If you come to understand this matter deeply, you will see at the two monks got gold when buying iron. The patriarch could not withhold his compassion and courted disgrace.
Wind, flag, mind moving,
All equally to blame.
Only knowing how to open his mouth,
Unaware of his fault in talking.
30 Baso's ''This Very Mind Is the Buddha''
Daibai asked Baso, "What is the Buddha?" Baso answered, "This very mind is the Buddha."
If you directly grasp Base's meaning, you wear the Buddha's clothes, eat the Buddha's food, speak the Buddha's words, do the Buddha's deeds-that is, you are the Buddha himself.
However, alas! Daibai misled not a few people into taking the mark on the balance for the weight itself How could he realize that even mentioning the word "Buddha" should make us rinse out our mouths for three days? If a man of understanding hears anyone say, "This very mind is the Buddha," he will cover his ears and rush away.
The blue sky and bright day,
No more searching around!
"What is the Buddha?" you ask:
With loot in your pocket, you declare yourself innocent.
31 Joshu Investigates an Old Woman
A monk asked an old woman, "What is the way to Taisan The old woman said, "Go straight on." When the monk had proceeded a few steps, she said, "A good, respectable monk, but he too goes that way." Afterward someone told Joshu about this. Jöshn said, "Wait a bit, I will go and investigate the old woman for you." The next day he went and asked the same question, and the old woman gave the same answer. On returning, jeshu said to his disciples, "I have investigated the old woman of Taisan for you."
The old woman only knew how to sit still in her tent and plan the campaign; she did not know when she was shadowed by a spy. Though old Joshu showed himself clever enough to take a camp and overwhelm a fortress, he displayed no trace of being a great commander. If we look at them, they both have their faults. But tell me, what did Joshu see in the old woman?
The question was like the others,
The answer was the same.
Sand in the rice,
Thorns in the mud.
32 A Non-Buddhist Philosopher Questions the Buddha
A non-Buddhist philosopher said to the Buddha, "I do not ask for words; I do not ask for non-words." The Buddha just sat there. The philosopher said admiringly, "The World-honored One, with his great mercy, has blown away the clouds of my illusion and enabled me to enter the Way." And after making bows, he took his leave. Then Ananda asked the Buddha, "What did he realize, to admire you so much?" The World-honored One replied, "A fine horse runs even at the shadow of the whip."
Ananda was the Buddha's disciple, but his understanding was not equal to that of the non-Buddhist. I want to ask you, what difference is there between the Buddha's disciple and the
On the edge of a sword,
Over the ridge of an iceberg,
With no steps, no ladders,
Climbing the cliffs without hands.
33 Baso's "No Mind, No Buddha"
A monk asked Baso "What is the Buddha?" Baso answered, "No mind no Buddha."
If you understand this, you have finished studying Zen.
Present a sword if you meet a swordsman;
Don't offer a poem unless you meet a poet.
When talking, tell one-third of it;
Don't divulge the whole at once.
34 Nansen's "Reason Is Not the Way"
Nansen said, "Mind is not the Buddha; reason is not the Way."
Nansen, growing old, had no shame. Just opening his stinking mouth, he let slip the family secrets. Yet there are very few who are grateful for his kindness.
The sky clears, the sun shines bright,
The rain comes, the earth gets wet.
He opens his heart and expounds the whole secret,
But I fear he is little appreciated.
35 Seijo's Soul SeparatedCaseGoso said to his monks, "Seijo's soul separated from her being. Which was the real Seijo?"CommentWhen you realize what the real is, you will see that we pass from one husk to another like travelers stopping for a night's lodging. But if you do not realize it yet, I earnestly advise you not to rush about wildly. When earth, water, fire, and air suddenly separate, you will be like a crab struggling in boiling water with its seven or eight arms and legs. When that happens, don't say I didn't warn you!Verse
The moon above the clouds is ever the same; Valleys and mountains are separate from each other. All are blessed, all are blessed; Are they one or are they two?NotesThe story of Seijo's two souls comes from a Chinese book of ghost stories. When a baby, Seijo was betrothed to her cousin Ochu. However, when she grew up, her father wanted to give her in marriage to another young man. Öchü left home in indignation and went up the Yangtze River by boat. At midnight someone came running along the bank eagerly calling Ochu's name. lt was Seijo. They journeyed together to a distant place, and there they lived and had two children. Five years went by, and they became homesick; they yearned to see their parents again. So they decided to visit their birthplace. Coming down the river Ochu left Seijo in the boat and went alone to her father to make apology for their having run away. But to his astonishment, he was told that Seijo had been in bed unconscious ever since he left home. There were found to be two Seijos, one in the boat and the other sick in bed. But when the one in the boat came into the house, the other one got out of bed, whereupon the two met and melted together into one Seijo.
36 When You Meet a Man of the Way
Goso said, "When you meet a man of the Way on the path, do not meet him with words or with silence. Tell me, how will you meet him?"
In such a case, if you can manage an intimate meeting with him it will certainly be gratifying. But if you cannot, you must be watchful in every way.
Meeting a man of th Way on the road,
Meet him with neither words nor silence.
A punch on the jaw:
Understand, if you can directly understand.
37 Joshu's Oak Tree
A monk asked Joshu, "What is the meaning of Bodhidharma's coming to China?" Joshu said, "The oak tree in the garden."
If you understand Joshu's answer intimately, there is no Shakya before you, no Maitreya to come.
Words cannot express things;
Speech does not convey the spirit.
Swayed by words, one is lost;
Blocked by phrases, one is bewildered.
38 A Buffalo Passes the Window
Goso said, "A buffalo passes by the window. His head, horns, and four legs all go past. But why can't the tail pass too?"
If you make a complete about-face, open your eye, and give a turning word on this point, you will be able to repay the four kinds of love that have favored you and help the sentient beings
in the three realms who follow you. If you are still unable to do this, return to this tail and reflect upon it, and then for the first time you will realize something.
Passing by, it falls into a ditch;
Coming back, all the worse, it is lost.
This tiny little tail,
What a strange thing it is!
39 A Mistake in Speaking
A monk said to U mmon, "The brilliance of the Buddha silently illuminates the whole universe..." But before he could finish the verse Ummon said, "Aren't those the words of Chosetsu the Genius?" "Yes they are," answered the monk. "You have slipped up in your speaking," Ummon said.
Afterward, Shishin Zenji brought up the matter and said, "Tell me, at what point did the monk err in his speaking?"
If you dearly understand this and realize how exacting Ummon was in his method, and what made the monk err in his speaking, you are qualified to be a teacher of heaven and earth. If you are not yet dear about it, you are far from saving yourself.
A line is cast in the rapids,
The greedy will be caught.
Before you start to open your mouth,
Your Jife is already lost!
The brilliance of the Buddha silently ilJuminates the whole universe.
Wise and ignorant, sentient and nonsentient form one family.
No nen-action appearing, the whole is manifested.
The slightest stir of the six roots makes it overcast.
Cutting off delusion increases evils, Seeking after the absolute invites a curse, Looking after worldly affairs does no harm, Nirvana and samsara are like Bowers in a fantasy.
40 Tipping Over a Water Bottle
When Isan Osho was with Hyakujo, he was head cook, of the monastery. Hyakujo wanted to choose a master for Mount Tai-i, so he called together all the monks and told them that anyone who could answer his question in an outstanding manner would be chosen. Then he took a water bottle and stood it on the floor, and said, "You may not call this a water bottle. What do you call it?" The head monk said, "It cannot be called a stump." Hyakujo asked lsan his opinion. lsan tipped over the water bottle with his feet and went out. Hyakujo laughed and said, the head monk loses." And Isan was named as the founder of the new monastery.
lsan displayed great spirit in his action, but he could not cut himself free from Hyakujo' s apron string's. He preferred the heavier task to the lighter one. Why was he like that, eh? He took off his headband to bear the iron yoke.
Tossing bamboo baskets and ladles away,
He made a glorious dash and swept all before him.
Hyakujo's barrier cannot stop his advance;
Thousands of Buddhas come forth from the tips of his feet.
41 Bodhidharma's Mind-Pacifying
Bodhidharma sat facing the wall. The Second Patriarch stood in the snow. He cut off his arm and presented it to Bodhidharma, crying, "My mind has no peace as yet! I beg you, master, please pacify my mind!" "Bring your mind here and I will pacify it for you," replied Bodhidharma. "I have searched for my mind, and I cannot take hold of it," said the Second Patriarch. "Now your mind is pacified," said Bodhidharma.
That broken-toothed old Hindu came so importantly, thousands of miles over the sea. This was raising waves where there was no wind. In his last years he induced enlightenment in his disciple, who, to make matters worse, was defective in the six roots. Why, Shasanro did not know four ideographs.
Coming east, directly pointing,
You entrusted the Dharma, and trouble arose;
The clamor of the monasteries
Is all because of you.
42 The Girl Comes out of Samadhi
Once, in the old days, in the time of the World-honored One, Manjusri went to the assembly of the Buddhas and found that everyone had departed to his original dwelling place. Only a girl remained, sitting in samadhi close to the Buddhas throne. Manjusri asked Shakyamuni Buddha, "Why can the girl get near the Buddha's throne, while I cannot?" Shakyamuni Buddha said, "Bring her out of her samadhi and ask her yourself." Manjusri walked around the girl three times, snapped his fingers once, took her to the Brahma heaven, and exerted all his miraculous powers to bring her out of her meditation, but in vain. The World-honored One said, "Even a hundred thousand Manjusris cannot make her wake up. But down below, past twelve hundred million lands as innumerable as the sands of the Ganges, there is the Bodhisattva Momyo. He will be able to arouse her from her samadhi." Instantly the Bodhisattva Momyo emerged from the earth and made a bow to the World-honored One, who gave him his imperial order. The Bodhisattva went over to the girl and snapped his fingers once. At this she came out of her samadhi.
Old Shakyamuni put a pretty drama on the stage and failed to enlighten the masses. I want to ask you: Manjusri is the teacher of the seven Buddhas; why couldn't he arouse the girl from her Samadhi? How was it that Momyo, a Bodhisattva at the beginner's stage, could do it? If you understand this intimately, you will enjoy Nagya's grand Samadhi in the busiest activity of consciousness.
One was successful, the other was not;
Both secured freedom of mind.
One in a god-mask, the other in a devil-mask;
Even in defeat, a beautiful performance.
43 Shuzan' s Shippei
Shuzan Osh held up a shippei (staff of office) before his disciples and said, "You monks! If you call this a shippei, you oppose its reality. If you do not call it a shippei, you ignore the fact. Tell me, you monks, what will you call it?"
If you call it a shippei, you oppose its reality. If you do not call it a shippei, you ignore the fact. Words are not available; silence is not available. Now, tell me quickly, what is it?
Holding up the shippei,
He takes life, he gives life.
Opposing and ignoring interweave.
Even Buddhas and patriarchs beg for their lives.
44 Basho's Staff
Basho Osho said to his disciples, ''If you have a staff, I will give you a staff. If you have no staff, I will take it from you."
lt helps me wade across a river when the bridge is down. It accompanies me to the village on a moonless night. If you call it a staff, you will enter hell like an arrow.
The depths and shallows of the world
Are all in its grasp.
It supports the heavens and sustains the earth.
Everywhere, it enhances the doctrine.
45 Hoen's "Who Is He"
Hoen of Tozan said, "Even Shakya and Maitreya are servants of another. I want to ask you, who is he?"
If you can really see this "another" with perfect clarity, it is like encountering your own father at a crossroads. Why should you ask whether you recognize him or not?
Don't draw another's bow,
Don't ride another's horse,
Don't discuss another's faults
Don't explore another's affairs.
46 Proceed On from the Top of the Pole
Sekiso Osho asked, "How can you proceed on further from the top of a hundred-foot pole?" Another eminent teacher of old said, "You, who sit on the top of a hundred-foot pole, although you have entered the Way you are not yet genuine. Proceed on from the top of the pole, and you will show your whole body in the ten directions."
If you go on further and turn your body about, no place is left where you are not the master. But even so, tell me, how will you go on further from the top of a hundred-foot pole? Eh?
He darkens the third Eye of insight and clings to the first mark on the scale. Even though he may sacrifice his life, he is only a blind man leading the blind.
47 Tosotsu' s Three Barriers
Tosotsu Etsu Osho set up three barriers for his disciple:
- You leave no stone unturned to explore profundity, simply to see
into your true nature. Now, I want to a k you, just at this moment,
where is your true nature?
- If you realize your true nature, y.ou are free from life and death.
Tell me, when your eyesight deserts you at the last moment, how can
you be free from life and death?
- When you set yourself free from life and death, you should know
your ultimate destination. So when the four elements separate, where
will you go?
If you can put turning words to these three questions, you are the master wherever you may stand and command Zen whatever circumstances you may be in. If otherwise, listen: gulping down your meal will fill you easily, but chewing it well can sustain you.
This moment's thought sees through eternal time;
Eternal time is just this moment.
If you see through this moment's thought,
You see through the man who sees through this moment.
48 Kempo's One Road
A monk said to Kempo Osho, "It is written, 'Bhagavats in the ten directions. One straight road to Nirvana.' I still wonder where the road can be." Kempo lifted his staff, drew a line, and said, "Here it is."
Later the monks asked the same question of Ummon, who held up his fan and said, "This fan jumps up to the thirty-third heaven and hits the nose of the deity Salera Devanam Indra. When you strike the carp of the eastern sea, the rain comes down in torrents."
One, going to the bottom of the sea, lifts up clouds of dust; the other, on top of the highest mountain, raises towering waves to wash the sky. One holding fast, the other letting go, each stretches out his hand to support the profound teaching. They are just like two riders starting from opposite ends of the course and meeting in the middle. But none on earth can be absolutely direct. When examined with a true eye, neither of these two great masters knows the road.
Before a step is taken, the goal is reached;
Before the tongue is moved, the speech is finished.
Though each move is ahead of the next,
There is still a transcendent secret.
THE SAYINGS AND DOINGS of the Buddha and the patriarchs have been set down in their original form. Nothing superfluous has been added by the author, who has taken the lid off his head and exposed his eyeballs. Your direct realization is demanded; it should not be sought through others. If you are a man of realization, you will immediately grasp the point at the slightest mention of it. There is no gate for you to go through; there are no stairs for you to ascend. You pass the checkpoint, squaring your shoulders, without asking permission of the keeper. Remember Gensha's saying, ''No-gate is the gate of emancipation; no-meaning is the meaning of the man of the Way." And Hakuun says, "Clearly you know how to talk of it, but why can't you pass this simple, specific thing?" However, all this kind of talk is like making a mud pie with milk and butter. If you have passed the Mumonkan, you can make a fool of Mumon. If not, you are betraying yoursel£ It is easy to know the Nirvana mind but difficult to attain the wisdom of differentiation. When you have realized this wisdom, peace and order will reign over your land.
Respectfully inscribed by
Mumon Ekai Bhikkhu,
eighth in succession from Yogi
To STICK TO RULES and regulations is to tie yourself without a rope. Arbitrary self-indulgence is heresy and devilry. Clinging to silence is false Zen. Selfish neglect of your surroundings is falling into a deep pit. Perfectionist watchfulness is wearing the yoke and chains. Thinking good and evil is attachment to heaven and hell. Addiction to Buddha and Dharma invites banishment beyond the two iron walls. Alternately daydreaming and awakening is playing with your own spirit. Practicing sitting of the dead is the devil's project. Proceeding, you fall into delusion; withdrawing, you go against the truth. When neither proceeding nor withdrawing, you are a breathing corpse. Tell me, how will you do it? Finish it in this life. Don't let yourself suffer an eternal karmic debt.
Soju's Verses on Oryn's Three Barriers
BOW ARB MY HANDS LIKE THE BUDDHA'S HANDS?
Feeling for the pillow at the back of my head,
I gave, involuntarily, a loud laugh
To find my entire body all originally hand.
HOW ARB MY LEGS LIKE A DONKEY'S LEGS?
Before stepping out, I am already moving on,
Stalking freely all over the four seas,
Facing backward astride Yogi's three-legged creature.
EVERYBODY HAS HIS KARMA RELATION.
Each expresses his original nature before his thoughts arise.
Nada broke his own bones and gave them back to his father.
Did the Fifth Patriarch have a father?
The Buddha's hands, the donkey's legs, the karma relation:
Not the Buddha, not the Way, not Zen;
No wonder the Mumonkan is so steep.
It elicits the deepest animosity among Zen monks.
Mumon recently at Zuigan Temple
Gave his lectures and judged ancient and modem masters.
He cut off all thought of people and sages,
And dragons arose roaring from their hibernation.
Presented as poor verses to express deep gratitude to Head Monk
Mumon for coming and guiding the monks in compliance with our
Late spring of the third year of Jotei 1230
Written by Muryo Soju
BODHIDHARMA COMING from the West, unattached to words, pointing directly to the mind of man, advocated seeing into one's nature and becoming Buddha. To say ''pointing directly'' is already meandering. "Becoming Buddha'' is not a little confusing. From the beginning it has been gateless; how can there be a checkpoint? Grandmotherly kindness caused much criticism. Muan is adding an extra one to make Case 49. There we have a little complication. See through it with your eyes open.
Summer of the fifth year of Junya 1245
The second edition
Written by Mokyo
Amban's Forty-ninth Case
OLD MASTER MUMON DRAFTED forty-eight cases and judged the koans of ancient teachers. He is like a fried-bean-cake seller who wants to open the customer's mouth and stuff it with his cakes until thoe customer can neither swallow nor disgorge them. Be that as it may, now Anbam wants to cook an extra one on Mumons hot oven and add it to the forty-eight and offcer it to you in Mumons manner. I wonder where the master would put his teeth into it. If anyone can swallow it at once he will emit the Buddha-light and make the earth shake. If he cannot the present forty-eight pIus this one will tum into the red-hot sands of hell. Say quickly! Say quickly!
The sutra says, "Stop! Stop! Don't try to expound it. The Dharma mysteriously transcends thinking!"
Where does the Dharma come from? How could it be mysterious? What about when it is expounded? Not only Bukan was talkative; Shakyamuni himself was the original chatterbox. That old fellow created a lot of phantoms and made a thousand generations tumble about in entanglements, unable to stick their heads out. As for the present fine cases of Mumon, you cannot scoop them up or steam them. Some puzzled people may ask, "After all, what is the conclusion of all this?" Amban puts his ten fingernails together and says, "Stop! Stop! Don't try to expound it; the Dharma mysteriously transcends thinking!" And in a flash he draws a small circle over the two words "transcends thinking" and shows it, saying, "The five thousand volumes of the sutras and Vimalakirti's 'One Gate Only' are all here."
If anyone tells you, "Light is fire,"
Move your head and make no answer. One devil knows the way of another;
At one question all is clear.
Summer of the sixth year of Junyü 1246
Written by Amban at the Fishing Villa of West Lake
The Blue Cliff Record
1 Emperor Wu Asks Bodhidharma
Engo's Introduction: Smoke over the hill indicates fire, horns over the fence indicate an ox. Given one corner, you grasp the other three; one glance, and you discern the smallest difference. Such quickness, however, is only too common among robed monks. When you have stopped the deluded activity of consciousness, then, whatever situation you may find yourself in, you enjoy perfect freedom, in adversity and prosperity, in taking and giving. Now tell me, how in fact will this sort of person behave?
Emperor Wu of Liang asked Bodhidharma, "What is the first principle of the holy teachings?" Bodhidharma said, "Emptiness, no holiness." "Who is this standing before me?" "No knowing."
The emperor did not grasp his meaning. Thereupon Bodhidharma crossed the river and went to the land of Wei. The emperor later spoke of this to Shiko, who said, "Do you in fact
know who this person is?" The emperor said, "No knowing." Shiko said, "This is the Bodhisattva Kannon, the bearer of the Buddha's Heart Seal." The emperor was full of regret and wanted to send tor Bodhidharma, but Shiko said, "It is no good sending a messsenger to fetch him back. Even if all the people went, he would not turn back."
The holy teaching? "Emptiness!"
What is the secret here?
Again, "Who stands before me?"
"No knowing!" Inevitable, the thorns and briars springing up;
Secretly, by night, he crossed the river.
All the people could not bring him back.
Now, so many years gone by,
Still Bodhidharma fills your mind-in vain
Stop thinking of him!
A gentle breeze pervades the universe.
The master looks around:
"Is the patriarch there?
-Yes! Bring him to me,
And he can wash my feet."
2 Joshu' s "The Real Way Is Not Difficult"Engo's Introduction: The universe is tob narrow; the sun, moon, and stars are all at once darkened. Even if blows from the stick fall like raindrops and the "katsu" shouts sound like thunder, you are still far short of the truth of Buddhism. Even the Buddhas of the three worlds can only nod to themselves, and the patriarchs of all ages do not exhaustively demonstrate its profundity. The whole treasury of sutras is inadequate to expound its deep meaning. Even the clearest-eyed monks fail to save themselves. At this point, how do you conduct yourself? Mentioning the name of the Buddha is like trudging through the mire. To utter the word "Zen" is to cover your face with shame. Not only those who have long practiced Zen but beginners, too, should exert themselves to attain directly to the secret.Main Subject: Joshu spoke to the assembly and said, "The real Way is not difficult. It only abhors choice and attachment. With but a single word there may arise choice and attachment or there may arise clarity. This old monk does not have that clarity. Do you appreciate the meaning of this or not?" Then a monk asked, you do not have that clarity, what do you appreciate?" Joshu said, "I do not know that, either." The monk said, "If you do not know, how can you say you do not have that clarity?" Joshu said, "Asking the question is good enough. Now make your bows and retire."Verse
The real Way is not difficult. Direct word Direct speech One with many phases, Two with one. Far away in the heavens the sun rises, the moon sets; Beyond the hills the high mountains, the cold waters. The skull has no consciousness, no delight; The dead tree sings in the wind, not yet rotten. Difficult, difficult Attachment and clarity; watch, and penetrate the secret!
3 Baso's "Sun-faced Buddha, Moon-faced Buddha''
Engo's Introduction: Each ki and every kyo, every word and phrase is a means, for the moment, of leading students to realization. But every such manipulation is like performing an operation on a healthy body an will give rise to complication upon complication. The Great Way manifests itseIf naturally. It is limited by no fixed rules. But I must tell you that there is an advanced theme that you will have to learn. It presides over heaven and earth. However, if you try to guess at it you will be confused. This can be right, and that also can be right. It is so delicate. This cannot be right, and that also cannot be right. An unapproachable cliff face! How could you manage without stumbling here or there?
The great master Baso was seriously ill. The chief priest of the temple came to pay his respects. He asked, "How do you feel these days?'' The master said, "Sun-faced Buddha, Moon-faced Buddha."
Sun-faced Buddha! Moon-faced Buddha! Compared with them,
How pale the Three Sacred Sovereigns, the Five Ancestral Emperors!
For twenty years I have had fierce struggles,
Descending into the dragon's cave for you.
The hardship defies description.
You clear-eyed monks - don't make light of it.
4 Tokusan Visits Isan
Engo's Introduction: The blue sky, the bright sun; there is no distinguishing east and west. Time and causation; medicine must be given to the sick. Tell me, is it best to let go or to hold fast?
Tokusan came to Isan's temple. Carrying his pilgrim's bundle under his arm, he crossed the lecture hall, from east to west and from west to east; then, staring around, he said, "Mu, Mu," and went out. [Setcho says, "It is seen through."] Tokusan reached the gate but then said to himself, "I should not be in a hurry.'' So he dressed formally and entered a second time to have an interview. Isan was sitting in his place. Tokusan, holding up his kneeling cloth, said, "Osho Isan nude as if to take up his hossu. Then Tokusan gave a "katsu" shout, swung his
sleeves, and went out. [Setcho says, "It is seen through."] Tokusan, with his back turned on the lecture hall, put on his straw sandals and went off. In the evening Isan asked the chief monk, "The new arrival, where is he?'' The chief monk said, "When he went out he turned his back on the lecture hall, put on his sandals, and went away.'' Isan said, "Someday that fellow will go to an isolated mountaintop, establish a hermitage, and scold the Buddhas and abuse the patriarchs.'' [Setcho says, "Frost on top of snow!"]
The first seeing through,
The second seeing through,
Frost on top of snow:
Great risk of slipping.
Like General Hiki, he entered the enemy camp
And narrowly escaped.
He made a dash for it,
But was not let alone.
Alas! He is seated among the weeds
On the isolated mountaintop.
5 Seppo' s "A Grain of Rice"
Engo's Introduction: To guard and maintain the essential teachings of Buddhism must be the vocation of the noble soul. He does not blink when killing a man, and then the man may be instantly enlightened. Hence he observes and acts simultaneously, and holds fast and lets go without restraint. He sees that essence and phenomenon are not two, that experience and reality run parallel. He often rejects the first principle and adopts the second. This is because to cut through the complications too abruptly causes the beginner to lose his footing. A day like yesterday- that could not be avoided. Again, a day like today-his transgressions
fill the heavens. If you are clear-sighted, however, you cannot blame him. If otherwise, you put yourself in the tiger's mouth. You will lose your life instantly.
Seppo addressed the assembly and said, "All the great world, if I pick it up with my fingertips, is found to be like a grain of rice. I throw it in front of your face, but you do not see it. Beat the drum, telling the monks to come out to work, and search for it."
The ox-head disappearing, the horse-head appears;
No dust on the mirror of the Patriarch Sokei.
You beat the drum and search for it in vain.
For whom do the spring flowers bloom?
6 Ummon's "Every Day Is a Good Day"
Ummon addressed the assembly and said, "I am not asking you about the days before the fifteenth of the month. But what about after the fifteenth? Come and give me a word about those days." And he himself gave the answer for them: "Every day is a good day."
Setting aside one, you gained seven;
No one can rival you-above, below, or in the four directions. Quietly wading the rapids, you extinguish the sound of the waters.
Watching at leisure, you retain the tracks of flying birds.
Grass grows rampant, mist lies thick.
Famed for emptiness in sitting,
Yet flowers rain down on you; for shame!
Snapping my fingers, I scold you, Sunyata.
Don't be confused!
Or else-thirty blows!
7 Hogen's ''You Are Echo''
Engo's Introduction: As to what stands prior to the Word, not or phrase has been handed down, even by the thousand holy ones. If you a not yet intimate with it, you are separated from it by the three thousand worlds. Even if you have attained some understanding of it, and you stop the mouths of people living in the world, you are not yet worthy to be called clear-eyed. That is why it is said that heaven cannot cover it, earth cannot hold it, space cannot accommodate it, sun and moon cannot shine on it. When there is no Buddha and when you alone are the master, then for the first time you are worthy of being talked about little.
Now, if you are not yet like that, you have to become enlightened relation to the slightest object and give out illumination yourself. Then you can go anywhere and enjoy perfect freedom in your Dharma activity. Whatever you take up, you act rightly. Tell me, how could ye achieve such freedom? Once again I ask you, do you understand this?
''None hitherto had noticed the sweat of his steed, but his merits must be recognized."
A monk said to Hogen, "My name is Echo. I ask you, what is the Buddha?" Hogen said, "You are Echo."
In the land of the river,
Faintly stirring, the gentle breeze of spring.
Far away, deep among blossoms,
The partridge sings.
Ascending the falls,
The carp became a dragon,
Yet still, by night,
Fools fish for him below.
8 Suigan's Eyebrows
Engo's Introduction: The enlightened man enjoys perfect freedom in active life. He is like a dragon supported by deep waters or like a tiger that commands its mountain retreat. The man who is not enlightened drifts about in the affairs of the world. He is like a ram that gets its
horns caught in a fence or like a man who waits for a hare to run against a tree stump and stun itself. The enlightened man's words are sometimes like a lion crouched to spring, sometimes like the Diamond King's treasure sword. Sometimes their effect is to shut the mouths of the world-famed ones, somctim.cs it is as if they simply follow the waves coming one after another. When the enlightened man meets others who are enlightened, then friend meets friend. He values them, and they encourage each other. When he meets those who are adrift in the world, then teacher meets disciple. His way of dealing with such people is farsighted. He stands firm before them, like a thousand-fathom cliff. Therefore it is said that the Way of the absolute is manifest everywhere: it has no fixed rules and regulations. The teacher sometimes makes a blade of grass stand for the golden-faced Buddha, sixteen feet high, and sometimes makes the golden-faced Buddha, sixteen feet high, stand for a blade of grass. Tell me, on what principle is all this based? Do you understand?
Suigan, at the end of the summer session, spoke to the assembly and said, "During the summer session I have talked to you a great deal. Now, look! Has Suigan any eyebrows?" Hofuku said, "He who commits theft has a guilty conscience." Chokei said, "They have grown." Ummon said ''Kan!"
Suigan' s words! Unanswerable in thousands of years.
Ummon's ''Kan!'' Losing his money, committing a crime.
Dotard Hofuku! Was he nimble or did he mumble?
Long-tongued Suigan Definitely a thief
Flawless is the jewel! Who can appraise the priceless?
Chokei knew well! He said, ''They have grown.''
9 Joshu' s Four GatesEngo's Introduction: In the bright mirror on its stand, beauty and ugliness are revealed. With the Bakuya sword in hand, killing and sparing are brought under control. A handsome fellow disappearing, an ugly one comes; an ugly fellow disappearing, a handsome one comes. Life is found in death, death in life. If you have no eye to penetrate the barrier, no freedom to turn about, you will be lost on the way. Tell me, what is the eye that penetrates the barrier, what is the freedom to tum about?Main Subject:A monk asked jeshn, "What is Joshu?" Joshn said, "The East Gate, the West Gate, the North Gate, the South Gate."Verse
Its intention concealed, the question came; The Diamond King's eye was as clear as a jewel. There stood the gates, north, south, east, and west, But the heaviest hammer blow could not open them.
10 Bokusha's "Empty-headed Fool"
Engo's Introduction: Yes is yes, no is no. In the Dharma battle, each stands on his own ground. Therefore it is said, when one's activity is upward, even Shakyamuni, Maitreya, Manjusri, Samantabhadra, the thousand holy ones, and the religious teachers of the whole world become spiritless and silent. When one's activity is downward, even maggots, gnats, and all creatures become brilliantly illuminating and as independent as a ten-thousand-fathom cliff. However, how is it when one's activity is neither upward nor downward? If there is any rule, rely on the rule; if there is no rule, follow a precedent.
Bokushu asked a monk, "Where are you from?" The monk gave a shout. Bokushu said, "This old monk is shouted down by you." The monk shouted again. jBokushu said, "Waht about after the third and fourth shouts?" The monk stayed silent. Bokushu hit the monk and said, "You empty-headed fool!"
Two shouts, three shouts;
The knowing one knows well;
If going hell-bent,
Both are blind.
Who is blind? Fetch him!
Expose him to the world!
11 Obaku' s "Partakers of Brewer's Grain''
Engo's Introduction: The Buddha's supreme power is wholly within his grasp. All the souls and all the spirits of heaven and earth are under his command. Even his casual words and sayings amaze the masses and arouse the crowds. His every gesture and action remove the sufferers' chains and knock off their cangues. If a transcendent man appears, the Buddha meets him with the transcendent principle. Who can ever be so wonderful?
Obaku addressed the assembly and said, "You are all partakers of brewer's grain. If you go on studying Zen like that, you will never finish it. Do you know that in all the land of Tang there is no Zen teacher?" Then a monk came forward and said, "But surely there are those who teach disciples and preside over the assemblies. What about that?" Obaku said, "I do not say that there is no Zen, but that there is no Zen teacher."
Commanding his way of teaching;
But he made it no point of merit.
Seated majestically over the whole land,
He distinguished the dragon from the snake.
Emperor Taichn once encountered him
And thrice fell into his clutches.
12 Tözan's "Masagin"
Engo's Introduction: The death-dealing blade, the life-giving sword: they were the custom in ancient days and are still today the touchstone. In death-dealing, not a hair is harmed; in life-giving, the body is denied and life is neglected. It is said that the thousand holy ones have
not preached a word on the upward route. Scholars labor at their formulas like monkeys struggling to catch the moon reflected on the waves. But say! If there is no preaching, how is it that there are so many complications, so many koans?
A monk asked Tozan, "What is Buddha?" Tozan said, "Masagin!" [three pounds of flax].
The golden crow swoops, the silver hare bounds;
The echo comes back, direct and free.
Who judges Tozan by his word or phrase
Is a blind tortoise, lost in a lonely vale.
The abundant blossoms, the luxuriant flowers,
The southern bamboo, the northern trees.
One recalls Riku Taifu and Chokei:
''You should not cry, but laugh!'' Eh!
13 Haryo's "Snow in the Silver Bowl"
Engo's Introduction: Clouds gather over the great plain, but the universe can still be discerned. Snow covers the flowering reeds and it is difficult to distinguish them. Speaking of the coldness of it, it is colder than frozen snow; as for the fineness, it is finer than powdered rice. With regard to the deepness, even the Buddha's eyes cannot penetrate it, while as for the way it is hidden, devils would be unable to spy it out. I allow you are clever enough to know three comers from one, but how would you speak to shut the mouths of the people of the world? Who has the capacity to do that?
A monk asked Haryo, "What is the Daiba school?" Haryo said, "Snow in the silver bowl"
Remarkable, the old man of Shinkai Temple;
It was well said, that "Snow in the silver bowl."
The ninety-six can learn for themselves what it means;
If they cannot, let them ask the moon in the sky.
Daiba school! Daiba school!
Scarlet banners flapping, the wind is cool!
14 Ummon's ''Preaching Facing Oneness''
A monk asked Ummon, ''What is the teaching of the Buddha's lifetime?" Ummon said, "Preaching facing oneness."
Facing oneness! There is no parallel!
He fitted the holeless hammer with a handle.
From under the Jambu tree, laughter rings out: Ha! Ha! Ha!
Last night the dragon got his horns broken.
Remarkable, the old man of Shoyo;
He has one tally here.
15 Ummon's "No Preaching on Oneness''
Engo's Introduction: The death-dealing blade, the life-giving sword: they were the custom in ancient days and are still today the touchstone. Tell me, at this moment, what is the death-dealing blade, what is the life-giving sword?
A monk asked Umrnon, "What is it when no thought is stirring and nothing presents itself?" Ummon said, "No preaching on oneness."
No oneness! Each holds one tally.
He lives and dies with you, all the same.
The eighty-four thousand did not respond quickly;
The thirty-three entered the tiger's cave.
Remarkable: see how turbulent-
The moon reflected on the waves.
16 Kyosei 's Instruction on Pecking and Tapping
Engo's Introduction: There is no byroad to the Way. There one stands absolutely firm. The Dharma transcends seeing and hearing. There one is independent of words and thoughts. If you make your way through all the thorny entanglements, break down the barriers of the Buddha and the patriarchs, and attain the quiet and secret land, there heaven will find no way to send down flowers to you, and the devil no way to spy you out. All day long you act without acting, preach without preaching. Then you have learned to tap the eggshell at the moment the chick is emerging, to wield the death-dealing sword that also gives life. However, going still further, when you realize in your activity along the constructive route how to grasp the student on the one hand and release him on the other, you will deserve to be called a master. But in the realm of the absolute, things will become different. Now, how will it be with the matter of the absolute?
A monk said to Kyosei, "I want to peck from the inside. Would you please tap from the outside?" Kyosei said, "Could you attain life or not?" The monk said, "If I could not attain life, I would become a laughingstock." Kyosei said, "You too are a fellow in the weeds!"
Old Buddha had his way of teaching,
The monk's answer won no praise. Strangers to each other, hen and chick,
Who can peck when the tapping comes?
Outside, the tap was given;
Inside, the chick remained.
Once again the tap was given;
Monks throughout the world attempt the trick in vain.
17 Kyorin 's "Sitting Long and Getting Tired''
Engo's Introduction: Cutting through nails and breaking steel, for the first time one can be called master of the first principle. If you keep away from arrows and evade swords, you will be a failure in Zen. As for the subtle point where no probe can be inserted, that may be set aside for a while; but when the foaming waves wash the sky, what will you do with yourself then?
A monk asked Kyorin, "What is the meaning of Bodhidharma's coming from the West?'' Kyorin said, "Sitting long and getting tired.''
One, two, and tens of hundreds of thousands,
Take off the muzzle and set down the load.
If you turn left and right, following another's lead,
I would strike you as Shiko struck Ryntetsuma.
18 Emperor Shukuso Asks About the Style of the Pagoda
Emperor Shukuso asked Cho Kokushi, "Wh are a hundred years old, what shall I do for you?" Kokushi answered: "Make a seamless pagoda for this old monk." The emperor said, " What style is it to be?" Kokushi remained silent for a while. And then he said, "Do you understand? " "No, I do not," said the emperor. "I have a disciple called Tangen" , said Kokushi, "who
has the Dharma Seal transmitted by me. He is well versed in this matter.
Ask him, please." After Kokushi's death, the emperor sent for Tangen and asked him ab out it, Tangen saiid "South of sho and north of Tan,
[Setcho says, "Soundless sound of one hand."]
In between, gold abounds.
[Setcho says, "A staff of a mountain kind."]
The ferryboat under the shadowless tree,
[Setcho says, "Clear is the river, calm is the sea."]
No holy one in the emerald palace you see."
[Setcho says, "All is finished."]
A seamless pagoda, it is difficult to describe;
The dragon does not thrive in a placid lake.
Tier after tier, superbly it casts its shadow;
Let it be admired for a thousand ages.
19 gutei's One-Finger-Zen
When even one particle stirs, the whole universe is involved; a blossom opens and the world responds. But what do you see when no particle stirs and a blossom does not open? It is said that it is like cutting the thread on a reel: one cut and you cut it all. Or it is like dyeing the thread on a reel: dye it once and you dye it all. Now, if you eradicate all the complications that affect you and bring out the treasure within you, you will find that everything is all right, above and below, before and behind. If you have not yet done so, see the following.
Gutei, whenever he was asked a question, only raised a finger.
Well, now! I like Gutei's way of answering. Who could compare with him throughout the whole universe? He let down the wooden float into the dark sea, making the blind turtle sind and swim and cling to it.
20 Ryuge Asks Suibi and Rinzai
Range upon range of mountain peaks, rock faces, and cliffs all deliver their profound sermons. If you stop to think, you will be bewildered. Let a man of great strength appear, overturn the great sea, kick over Mount Sumeru, shout and disperse the white clouds, break up the empty sky, and with each "ki" and every "kyo" shut the mouths of all other men: such a man will be truly incomparable. Has ever a man been so wonderful?
Ryuge asked Suibi, "What is the meaning of Bodhidharma's coming from the West?" Suibi said, "Pass me the board" (chin rest) Ryuge passed the board to Suibi, who took it and hit Ryuge with it. Ryuge said, "If you strike me, I will let you. But after all, there is no meaning in Bodhidharma's coming from the West." Ryuge asked Rinzai, too, "What is the meaning of Bodhidharma's coming from the West?" Rinzai said, "Pass me the cushion." Ryuge passed the cushion to Rinzai, who took it and hit Ryuge with it. Ryuge said, "If you strike me, I will let you. But after all, there is no meaning in Bodhidharma's coming from the West."
Dragon Mountain, the dragon has no eye.
Still waters don't impart the ancient Way.
If the board and cushion don't benefit you,
Hand them over to me.
(I have not yet exhausted this, hence another verse.)
Even if they are given to me, it's useless.
Not for me to sit like the patriarch.
Beautiful, the evening clouds,
Endless, the distant hills, blue upon blue, peak upon peak!
21 Chimon' s Lotus Flower and Lotus LeavesEngo's IntroductionSetting up the Dharma banner and establishing the Dharma teaching is like spreading flowers over brocades. If you take off the muzzle and set down the load, you will enter a time of great peace. If you master the transcendent words, you will be able to know three comers from one.Main Subject:A monk asked Chimon, "What will the lotus flower be when it has not yet come out of the water?" Chimon said, "The lotus flower." "What about when it is out of the water?" "The lotus leaves."Verse
The lotus leaves The lotus flower! He is so kind to tell you of them! The flower coming out of the waterWhat difference, before or after? If you wander about, now north of the river, now south of the lake, Questioning Master Wang and the like, As one doubt is settled others will arise, And you will puzzle over question after question.
22 Seppo's Turtle-nosed Snake
The great universe is boundless. As for how small it is, it is like an atom. Grasping and releasing, developing and declining, are not in others' hands; they are all in your own. If you want to get rid of encumbrances and cut through entanglements, you must transcend form and sound and remove all trace of the activity of mind; then you will be in an impregnable position and absolutely independent, like a thousand-fathom cliff. Tell me, who was ever like this?
Seppo, speaking to the assembly,said, "There isa turtlenosed snake on the South Mountain. You should have a good look at it." Chokei said, "Today, in this temple, there is obviously one man who has lost his life." Later, a monk related this to Gensha, who said, "Only Brother Ryo (Chokei Eryo) can answer like that; as for me, I am different." "How are you different?" asked the monk. Gensha said, "What use is there in making use of the South Mountain?" Ummon threw his staff down in front of Seppo and made a gesture as if he were afraid of it.
Mount Seppo was too steep to climb;
Only the skilled could try it.
Chökei and Gensha made nothing of it;
How many truly lost their lives?
Ummon knew how to beat the bushes;
The snake-its nature so-was nowhere to be found.
The staff, suddenly flung down,
Opened its mouth right before Seppo.
It strikes like lightning,
If you try to look for it, you fail;
Now it is hidden on this peak of Nyuho:
If you want to see it, look at it directly.
[All of a sudden Setchö gave a shout and said, "Look out beneath your feet!"]
23 Hofuku Points to MyohchoEngo's IntroductionJade is tested by fire, gold by a stone, a sword by a hair, water by a staff. In Zen training the degree of one's attainment and one's progress is known by one's words and phrases, one's attitude and actions, one's coming and going, one's asking and responding. Tell me, how will it be done?Main Subject:When Hofuku and Chokei went out for a walk, Hofuku, pointing with his finger, said, "This is Myohocho" (marvelous mountain top). Chokei said, "What you say is well said, but alas!" [Setcho puts in his comment, saying, "Today, walking with this man what is he plotting?" But again he says, "I don't say we do not find such men as this once in a hundred or a thousand years, but they are rare.''] A monk related this to Kyosei, who said, "But for Chokei's remark, the field would have been littered with skulls."Verse
This is Myohocho! Now weeds grow rampant. You see it clearly, but to whom could you impart it? If you, O Chokei, didn't discriminate, Many would never know, and their skulls would litter the field.
24 Ryutetsuma the Old Female Buffalo
Standing on the highest mountaintop, no devil or heretic can approach him, Descending to the farthest depths of the sea, he is not to be seen even by the Buddha's eyes. Even if your eye is like a shooting star and your spirit like lightning, you are still like the turtle, which cannot avoid dragging its tail. At such a juncture, what do you do?
Ryutetsuma came to Isan. Isan said, "Old Female Buffalo, so you have come!" Tetsuma said, ''Tomorrow there is a great festival at Taisan. Will you be going?" Isan lay down and stretched himself out. Tetsuma went away.
Riding an iron horse, the general entered the double-walled fortress;
The imperial proclamation: the six kingdoms are at peace.
Still gripping the golden whip, he urges the returning troops;
In the quiet depths of the night, no one goes with him through the
25 The Master of Rengehe's Staff
If the action of one's ki is not independent of one's degree of enlightenment, one falls into a sea of poison. If one's words do not astonish the crowd, one slips into the conventional. If you can distinguish black from white in the moment of a spark's being struck and can tell life from death in the instant of a flash of lightning, then you will be able to command all quarters and stand firm like a thousandfathom cliff. Who could ever be so?
The master of Rengeho cottage held out his staff and said to his disciples, "When, in olden times, a man reached the state of enlightenment, why did he not remain there?" No one could answer, and he replied for them, "Because it is of no use in the course of life." And again he asked, ''After all, what will you do with it?" And once again he said in their stead,
''Taking no notice of others, Throwing his staff over his shoulder, He goes straight ahead and journeys Deep into the recesses of the hundred thousand mountains."
His eyes filled with sand, his ears with clay,
Even among the thousand mountains he does not remain.
Falling blossoms, flowing streams: he leaves no trace.
Open your eyes wide, and you'll wonder where he's gone.
26 Hyakujo Sits on the Great Sublime Peak
A monk asked Hyakujo, "What is the mostwonderful thing?" Jö said, "I sit alone on this Great Sublime Peak." The monk made a bow. Jo struck him.
Across the patriarch's field went galloping
The heavenly horse, Baso's successor,
Different, however, in way of teaching,
In holding fast and letting go.
His actions were quick as lightning,
The monk came to tweak the tiger's whiskers,
But his efforts made him a laughingstock.
27 Ummon's "Golden Breeze"
One question, and he answers ten; one corner, and the other three are made clear. Seeing the hare, he lets go the hawk; using the wind, he makes fire. Now, not sparing the eyebrows may be put aside for a while-how about your entering the tiger's cave?
A monk asked Ummon, ''What will it be when trees wither and leaves fall?'' Ummon said, "You embody the golden breeze."
Significant the question,
Pregnant the answer, too!
The three phrases are satisfied,
The arrow penetrates the universe.
The wind blows across the plain,
Soft rain clouds the sky.
Don't you see master of Shorin Temple,
Not yet retuning, wall-gazing,
Meditating quietly now on Yuji Peak?
28 What the Holy Ones Have Not Preached
Nansen came to see Hyakujo Nehan Osho. Jo said, "Is there any Dharma that the holy ones have not preached to the people?" Nansen said, "There is." Jö said, "What is the Dharma that has not been preached to the people?" Nansen said, "It is not mind, it is not Buddha, it is not things." Jo said, "You have preached." Nansen, "I am like this. How about you?" Jo said, "I am not a man of great Wisdom. How can I tell if there is preaching or no preaching?" Nansen said, "I don't follow you." Jo said, "I have talked quite enough for you."
Patriarchs and Buddhas have not preached,
Yet monks run after preachers.
Clear mirror on the stand, sharply imaging.
Looking southward, see the Great Bear.
The shaft hangs down. Where do you find it?
Saving your nostrils, you have lost your mouth.
29 Daizui's "It Will st Zen Be Gone with the Other"
Fish swimming, the water is disturbed; a bird flying, a feather falls. Host and guest are clearly distinguished; black and white are sharply divided. It is like a clear mirror on the stand and a bright jewel in the hand. When a man of Han appears, he is reflected; if a man of Ho comes, he is mirrored. Sound is manifest, color is apparent. How will it be like that?
A monk asked Daizui, "When the kalpa fire flares up and the great cosmos is destroyed, I wonder, will 'it' perish, or will it not perish?" Zui said, "It will perish." The monk said, "Then will it be gone with the other?" Zui said, "It will be gone with the other."
Blocked by the double barrier,
The monk asked from the heart of the kalpa fire.
Wonderful the words, "It will be gone with the other."
Thousands of miles he wandered in vain, seeking a master.
30 Joshu's "A Big Radish"
A monk asked Joshu, "I have heard that you closely followed Nansen. Is that true?" Joshu said, "Chinshu produces a big radish."
Chinsho produces a big radish;
Monks have taken it as their model.
They know only how it was and would be.
How can they truly realize
The swan is white, the crow black?
Plunderer ! Plunderer !
The monk had his nostrils threaded through.
31 Mayoku Comes to Shokei
With subconscious stirring, images appear; with awareness, ice forms. Even if there is no stirring and no awareness, you have not yet escaped from the confinement of the fox's hole. If you truly penetrate in your practice and become master of it, you will experience not a trace of obstruction. You will be like a dragon supported by deep waters, like a tiger that commands its mountain retreat. Then, if you let go, even tiles and pebbles become illuminating; if you hold fast, even pure gold loses its luster. And the koans of the old masters will become tedious. Tell me, what am I talking about?
Mayoku came to Shekei carrying his bell staff with him, walked around Shokei' s seat three times, shook his staff, ringing the bells, stuck it in the ground, and stood up straight. Kei said, "Good."
[Setcho says, "A mistake."]
Mayoku then came to Nansen, walked around Nansen's seat shook his staff, ringing the bells, stuck it in the ground and stood up straight. Nansen said "Wrong."
[Setcho says, "A mistake."]
Mayoku said "Shokei said 'Good' why do you say, 'Wrong'?" Nansen said, "Shokei is good, but youre wrong. You are blown about by the wind. That will lead to destruction."
This mistake, that mistake,
Never take them away!
In the four seas, the waves subside;
A hundred rivers Bow quietly to the sea.
The twelve bells of the staff tinkled up high;
Empty and silent is the road to the gate.
No, not empty and silent;
The enlightened man must take medicine
For the illness of "having no illness.''
32 Jo Joza Stands Still
Once the delusive way of thinking is cut off, a thousand eyes are suddenly opened. One word blocking the stream of thought, and all nen-actions are controlled. Is there anyone who would undergo the experience of dying the same death and living the same life as the Buddha? Truth is manifest everywhere. If you do not see it, here is an ancient example.
Jo Joza asked Rinzai, "What is the essence of Buddhism?" Rinzai, getting up from his seat, seized him, slapped him, and pushed him away. Jo Joza stood still. A monk standing by said, "Jo Joza, why don' t you bow?" When Jo Joza bowed, he suddenly became enlightened.
Inheriting the spirit of Dansai,
How could he be gentle and quiet?
Not difficult for Kyorei
To lift his hands and split Mount Kasan,
Letting the Yellow River through.
33 Chinso Shosho Comes to Visit Shifuku
He does not distinguish east from wes nor north from south. From morning to evening, from evening to morning, so he remains. Can he be called asleep? Sometimes his eyes are like shooting stars. Can we call him wide awake? Sometimes he points to the south, calling it the north. Tell me, is he mindful or mindless; is he a man of enlightenment or a mediocrity? If you thoroughly understand this topic and know the secret of it, you will realize how the ancient masters went this way and that. Tell me, what season of life is this?
Chinso came to see Shifuku. Shifuku drew a circle in the air. Chinso said, "I have no object in coming here. Why do you bother to draw a circle?" Shifuku closed the door of his room. (Setcho says, "Chinso has only one eye.")
Perfect the circle, pure the sound,
Bright and abundant the encircling jade,
Loaded on horses and mules,
Loaded on board the iron boats,
Given to those who know
The peace and freedom of land and sea.
He put down the tackle to fish the turtle.
Setcho comments here:
"Monks throughout the world can't jump out of it."
34 Kyozan's "You Have Not Visited Rozan''
Kyozan asked a monk, "Where are you from?" "Mount Rozan," answered the monk. "Have you ever visited Gorehe Peak?" asked Kyozan, "No, not yet," said the monk. Kyozan said, "You
have not visited Rozan." Later, Ummon said, "This talk of Kyozan's was falling into the weeds, all out of kindness."
Falling or not falling, who can tell?
White clouds piling up, Bright sun shining down,
Faultless the left, mature the right.
Don't you know Kanzan?
He went very fast;
Ten years not retwning,
He forgot the way he had come.
35 Manjusri's "Threes and Threes''
In distinguishing dragon from snake, jewel from stone, black from white, irresolute from decisive, if one does not have the clear eye of the mind and the amulet under the arm, one invites instant failure. Just at this moment, if one's vision and hearing are dear, and color and sound are truly cognized, tell me, is he black or white, crooked or straight? The subtle difference-how could you discern it?
Manjusri asked Muchaku, "Where have you recently come from?" Muchaku said, "From the south." "How is Southern Buddhism faring?" asked Manjusri. "The monks of the latter days of the Law observe the Buddha's precepts a little," Muchaku answered. "Are there many or few?" "Here about three hundred, there around five hundred." Then Muchaku asked Manjusri, "How does Buddhism fue in your part of the world?" Manjusri said, "The worldly and the holy are living together; dragons and snakes are mingled." "Are there many or few?" ''The former threes and threes, the latter threes and threes."
The thousand hills, peak upon peak, deep blue;
Who can converse with Manjusri? How I laugh at "many or few"!
How I admire
"The former threes and threes,
The latter threes and threes"
36 Chosha Went for a Walk
One day Chosha went for a walle. When he returned to the gate the head monk said, "Ohsho, where have you been strolling?" Chosha said, "I have come from walking in the hills." The
head monk said, "'Where have you been?" Chosha said, "First I went following the fragrant grasses, and now I have returned in pursuit of the falling blossoms." The head monk said ''You are full of the spring.'' Chosha said, "Better than the autumn dews falling on the lotus leaves.''
(Setcho says, "Thank you for your answer.")
The world without a speck of dust!
What man's eyes are not opened?
First following the fragrant grasses,
Returning in pursuit of falling blossoms,
The slender stork perched in the wintry tree,
A crazy monkey shrieking on the age-old heights.
Chosha's eternal meaning - ah!
37 Banzan' s "Three Worlds, No Dharma"
The spirit which moves like lightning fail to follow. When the bolt descends from the blue, you have no time to cover your ears. The scarlet banner flutters over the master's he the two-edged sword is being brandished behind the student's neck. Unless your eyes are sharp and your hands move quickly, how can you delusive ways of thought. Don't you know that countless skulls are haunted by ghosts? I want to ask you, without falling into the delusive way of thinking and without halting irresolutely, how can you respond to the teacher's words?
Banzan said to his disciples, "In the three worlds, there is no Dharma. Where could you find the mind?"
Three worlds, no Dharma,
Where could you find the mind?
White clouds crown the heavens,
The streams draw music from the harp-
Tunes and harmonies which none can understand.
The night's rain has brought the autumn waters deep.
38 Fuketsu and the Dharma Seal of the Patriarch
When one adopts the gradual method, though it is not normal, one can nevertheless be on the right road, and in the busiest marketplace one will be able to enjoy unhindered movement. When one adopts the sudden method, one leaves behind no trace, and even the thousand Buddhas cannot spy one out. Now, how about when one uses neither the gradual nor the sudden method? A word is sufficient to the wise, as a flick of the whip is to a fine horse. Taking such a course, who can be the master?
Fuketsu took the high seat in the government office of Eishu and said, "The Dharma Seal of the patriarch is like the iron ox's spirit. If the seal is removed, the impression is left; if it is not removed, the impression does not appear. If you want neither of them, tell me, should you or should you not press the seal down?" Then a senior monk, Rohi, came forward and said, "I have the iron ox's spirit. I ask you not to press down the seal." Fuketsu said, "For a long time now I have been used to fishing the whale in the great oceans, and I feel rather annoyed at finding a little frog tumbling about in the muddy water." Rohi stopped to think. Fuketsu gave a shout and said, "Why don't you go on with what you were saying?" Rohi faltered. Fuketsu made as if to strike him with his hossu and said, "Do you remember the topic? Try to recite it." Rohi tried to open his mouth. Fuketsu struck with his hossu once more. The governor said, "The Buddha's law and the king's law are just the same." Fuketsu said, "Why do you say that?" The governor said, "When punishment is called for, it should not be neglected. Otherwise one invites trouble." Fuketsu descended from the seat.
Holding Rohi to let him ride the iron ox,
He used the armor of Rinzai' s three mysteries.
The stream that ran to greet the lord's palace-With
one shout he made it flow backward.
39 Ummon's "Kayakuran"
When one is enlightened and enjoys perfect
freedom of mind in ordinary life, one is like a tiger that commands its mountain retreat. If one is not enlightened and drifts about in the
affairs of the world, one is like a monkey in a cage. If you want to know
Buddha Nature, you must pay attention to time and causation. If you
aspire to the condition of pure gold that has been refined a hundred
times over, you must be shaped in the teacher's forge. I want to ask you
this: How would you identify the one who has mastered the Way of the
A monk asked Ummon, "What is the pure body
of the Buddha?" Ummon said, "Kayakuran" [the fence around a flower
garden]. The monk said, "How about if I understand it like that?"
Ummon said, "The golden-haired lion."
Don't mistake "Kayakuran.
The mark is on the balance, not the tray;
Saying "like that" betrays ignorance;
Master hand, beware the golden lion.
40 Nansen's "This Flower"
When the action of the mind is stopped and swept away, the iron tree will bloom. Can you demonstrate it? Even a crafty fellow will come a cropper here. Even if he excels in every way, he will have his nostrils pierced. Where are the complications?
Riku Taifu, while talking with Nansen, said, "Jo Hosshi said, 'Heaven and earth and I are of the same root. All things and I are of one substance.' Isn't that absolutely fantastic?" Nansen pointed to a flower in the garden, called Taifu to him, and said, "People of these days see this flower as though they were in a dream."
Hearing, seeing, touching, and knowing are not one and one;
Mountains and rivers should not be viewed in the mirror.
The frosty sky, the setting moon-at midnight;
With whom will the serene waters of the lake reflect the shadows
in the cold?
41 Joshu and the Great Death
When right and wrong are intermingled, even the holy ones cannot distinguish between them. When positive and negative are interwoven, even the Buddha fails to discern one from the other. The most distinguished man of transcendent experience cannot avoid showing his ability as a great master. He walks the ridge of an iceberg, he treads the edge of a sword. He is like the kirin's horn, like the lotus flower in the fire. Meeting a man of transcendent experience, he identifies with him as his equal. Who is he?
Joshu asked Tosu, "What if a man of the Great Death comes back to life again?'' Tosu said, "You should not go by night; wait for the light of day and come."
Open-eyed, he was all the more as if dead;
What use to test the master with something taboo?
Even the Buddha said he had not reached there;
Who knows when to throw ashes in another's eyes?
42 Ho Koji's "Beautiful Snowflakes"
He talks independently, acts independently; and he trudges through the mire for the sake of others. He talks with others, acts with others; and he stands alone, like silver mountains and iron liffs. If you doubt and hesitate, you will be a ghost haunting a skull. If you stop to think, you will fall into hell. Don't you see the bright sun shining in th sky and feel the cool breeze blowing across the face of th earth? Was any of the great ones of ancient times like this?
Ho Koji (Layperson) was leaving Yakusan. Yakusan let ten Zen students escort him to the temple gate to bid him farewell. Koji pointed to the falling snowflakes and said, "Beautiful snowflakes,
one by one; but they fall nowhere else." Then one of the students, named Zen, said, "Then where do they fall?'' Koji gave him a slap. Zen said, "Koji! You shouldn't be so abrupt." Koji said, "If you are like that and call yourself a zen student, Emma will never let you go." Zen said, "What about yourself?" Koji gave him another slap and said, "You look, but you are like a blind man you speak, but you are like a deaf-mute."
[Setcho adds his comment: "Why didn't you hit him with a snowball in place of your first question?"]
Hit him with a snowball, hit him with a ball!
Even the best will fail to reply.
Neither heaven nor earth knows what to do·
Eyes and ears are blocked with snow.
Transcendent serenity and purity!
Even the blue-eyed old monk can't explain.
43 Tozan's ''No Cold or Heat''Engo's IntroductionThe words which command the universe are obeyed throughout the ages. The spirit able to quell the tiger amazes even thousands of the holy ones. His words are matchless, his spirit prevails everywhere. If you want to go through with your advanced training, you must enter the great master's forge. Tell me, who could ever show such spirit?Main SubjectA monk said to Tozan, "Cold and heat descend upon us. How can we avoid them?" Tozan said, "Why don't you go where there is no cold or heat?" The monk said, "Where is the place where there is no cold or heat?" Tözan said, "When cold, let it be so cold that it kills you; when hot, let it be so hot that it kills you." Verse
A helping hand, but still a thousand-fathom cliff; Sho and Hen: no arbitrary distinction here. The ancient emerald palace shines in the bright moonlight. Clever Kanro climbs the steps-and finds it empty.
44 Kasan' s "Beating the Drum"
Kasan said, "Learning by study is called 'hearing'; learning no more is called 'nearness'; transcending these two is 'true passing.' A monk asked, "What is 'true passing'?" Kasan said, "Beating the drum." The monk asked again, "What is the true teaching of the Buddha?" Kasan said, "Beating the drum." The monk asked once more, "I would not ask you about 'This very mind is the Buddha,' but what is 'No mind, no Buddha'?" Kasan said, "Beating the drum." The monk still continued to ask "When an enlightened one comes, how do you treat him?" Kasan said, "Beating the drum."
Dragging a ston carrying earth,
Use the spiritual power of a thousand-ton bow. Zkotsu Roshi rolled out three wooden balls;
How could they surpass Kasan' s "Beating the drum"?
I will tell you, what is sweet is sweet,
What is bitter, bitter.
45 Joshu's Seven-Pound Hempen Shirt
If he wants to speak, he speaks, and none can rival him throughout the whole universe. When he wants to act, he acts, and his activity is peerless. The one is like shooting stars and flashing
lightning, the other like crackling flames and flashing blades. When he sets up his forge to discipline his disciples, they lay down their arms and lose their tongues. I will give an example.
A monk asked Joshu, "All the Dharmas are reduced to oneness, but what is oneness reduced to?" Joshu said, "When I was in Seishu I made a hempen shirt. It weighed seven pounds."
You brought a piece of logic
To trap the old gimlet,
But do you know the meaning
Of the seven-pound hempen shirt?
Now I have thrown it away
Into Lake Seiko
And sail before the wind.
Who will share the coolness with me?
46 Kyosei' s "Voice of the Raindrops"
In a single action he transcends both the ordinary and the holy. With a single word he cuts away all complications and encunbrances. He walks the ridge of an iceberg, he treads
the edge of a sword. Seated amid the totality of form and sound, he rises above them. Leaving aside the freedom of such subtle activity, tell me, what about finishing it in a moment?
Kyosei asked a monk, "What is the noise outside?" The monk said, "That is the voice of the raindrops." Kyosei said, "Men's thinking is topsy-turvy. Deluded by their own selves, they pursue things." The monk asked, "What about yourself?" Kyosei said, "I was near it but am not deluded." The monk asked, "What do you mean by 'near it but not deluded'?" Kyosei said, "To say it in the sphere of realization may be easy, but to say it in the sphere of transcendence is difficult."
The empty hall resounds with the voice of the raindrops.
Even a master fails to answer. If you say you have turned the current,
You have no true understanding.
Understanding? No understanding?
Misty with rain, the northern and southern mountains.
47 Ummon' s "Beyond the Six"
Heaven never speaks, yet the four seasons follow their courses. Earth does not talk, but all things prosper. Where the four seasons follow their courses, you can see the substance. Where all things prosper, you can find the use. Now tell me, where do you see the monk? Stop your speech, your actions, your daily routine, and, closing your throat and lips, say it.
A monk asked Ummon, "What is the Dharmakaya?" Ummon said, "Beyond the six."
One, two, three, four, five, six
Even the blue-eyed Indian monk cannot count it.
Rashly they say Shorin passed it on to Shinko,
Or he, clad in the robe, journeyed back to India.
India is vast and far; he is not to be found,
Lo! Since last night he has been here facing Nyuho.
48 O Taifu and the Tea Ceremony
O Tifu went to Shokei Temple for the tea ceremony. Ro Joza, lifting the kettle to bring it to Myosho, happened to overturn it. O Taifu said, "What is under the kettle?" Ro said, "The god of the hearth." Taifu said, "If it is the god of the hearth, why has it upset the kettle?" Ro said, "A thousand days of government service, and one accident!" Taifu swung his sleeves and left the room. Myosho said, "Ro Joza, you have long had food from Shokei Temple, and still you wander about the countryside, working with a stump." Ro said, "What about you?" Myo said, "That is where the devil gets the better of you."
[Setcho says, "Why didn't you, at that moment, trample on the hearth?"]
Cleaving the air, the question came;
The answer missed the point.
Alas! The one-eyed dragon monk
Did not show his fangs and claws.
Now fangs and claws are unsheathed,
Lightning flashes, stormy clouds!
Surging billows rage around,
Falling back against the tide.
49 Sansho's "The Golden Carp out of the Net''
Seven piercing and eight breaking through, seizing the drums and capturing the banners, a hundred barriers and a thousand checkpoints, watching the front and guarding the rear, holding the tiger's head and securing its tail-even all these are not comparable to the veteran master's ability. The ox-head disappearing, the horse-head appears-that also is not a great wonder. Tell me, what do you do when a man of transcendent experience comes?
Sansho said to Seppo, "The golden carp is out of the net! Tell me, what will it feed on?" Seppo said, "When you have got out of the net, I will tell you." Sansho said, "The renowned teacher of fifteen hundred monks cannot find even one word to say about this topic." Seppo said, "I am the chief abbot and have much to attend to."
The golden carp comes out of the net!
Don't say it remains in the water still.
lt shakes the heavens and moves the earth,
Swinging its fins, lashing its tail.
It blows like a whale, raising great waves;
Then the thunder sounds, and a cool breeze comes;
A cool breeze-yes! a cool breeze comes.
Who in the whole universe knows this?
50 Ummon's ''Particle After Particle's Samadhi''
Transcending all ranks, rising above all expedients; spirit corresponding to spirit, words answering wordsunless he has undergone the great emancipation and attained the great use of it, how could he rank with the Buddhas and be a faultless exponent of the teachings? Now, tell me, who can be so direct and adaptable to all occasions, and have the free command of transcendent words?
A monk asked Ummon, "What is particle after particle's samadhi Ummon said, "Rice in the bowl, water in the pail."
Rice in the bowl, water in the pail!
Even the most talkative can add nothing.
The North and the South stars do not change places,
Heaven-touching waves arise on land.
If you doubt, if you hesitate,
Though heir to millions--trouserless.
51 Seppo's "What Is This?"
If you have the slightest choice of right and wrong, you will fall into confusion of mind. If you are not caught up in the ranks, there will be no groping in the dark. Tell me, which is advisable, letting go or holding fast? At this point, if you deal in terms of concepts and remain attached to sophisticated thinking, you are a ghost clinging to weeds and bushes. Even if you become innocent of such vulgarity, you are still thousands of miles from your homeland. Do you understand? If not, just study the present koan.
When Seppo was living in his hermitage, two monks came to pay their respects. As Seppo saw them coming he pushed open the gate and, presenting himself before them, said, "What is this?" The monks also said, ''What is this?" Seppo lowered his head and returned to his cottage. Later the monks came to Ganto, who said, ''Where are you from?" The monks answered, ''We have come from south of the Nanrei Mountains." Ganto said, ''Have you ever been to see Seppo?" The monks said, "Yes, we have been to him." Ganto said, "What did he say to you?" The monks related the whole story. Ganto said, "Alas! I regret that I did not tell him the last word when I was with him. If I had done so, no one in the whole world could have pretended to outdo him." At the end of the summer session the monks repeated the story and
asked Ganto for his instruction. Ganto said, "Why didn't you ask earlier?" The monks said, ''We have had a hard time struggling with this topic.'' Ganto said, "Seppo came to life in the same way that I did, but he does not die in the same way that I do. If you want to know the last word, I'll tell you, simply-This! This!''
The last word, let me tell you-
Light and darkness intermingled,
Living in the same way, you all know;
Dying in different ways-beyond telling!
Absolutely beyond telling!
Buddha and Dharma only nod to themselves.
East, west, north, and south-homeward let us go,
Late at night, seeing the snow on the thousand peaks.
52 Joshu's Stone Bridge
A monk said to Joshu, "The stone bridge of Joshu is widely renowned, but coming here I find only a set of steppingstones." Joshu said, "You see only the steppingstones and do not see the stone bridge." The monk said, "What is the stone bridge?" Joshu said, "It lets donkeys cross over and horses cross over."
No show of transcendence,
But his path was high.
If you've entered the great sea of Zen,
You should catch a giant turtle.
I can't help laughing at old Kankei,
His contemporary, who said, "It is as quick as an arrow"
A mere waste of labor.
53 Hyakujo and a Wild DuckEngo's IntroductionThe universe is not veiled; all its activities lie open. Whichever way he may go, he meets no obstruction. At all times he behaves independently. His every word is devoid of egocentricity, yet still has the power to kill others. Tell me, where did the ancient worthy come to rest?Main Subject When Ba Daishi [Baso] was out walking with Hyakujo, he saw a wild duck fly past. Daishi said, "What is it?" Hyakujo said, "It is a wild duck." Daishi said, "Where is it?" Hyakujo said, "It has flown away." Daishi at last gave Hyakujo's nose a sharp pinch. Hyakujo cried out with pain. Daishi said, "There, how can it fly away?"Verse
The wild duck! What, how, and where? Baso has seen, talked, taught, and exhausted The meaning of mountain clouds and moonlit seas. But Jo doesn't understand-"has flown away." Flown away? No, he is brought back! Say! Say!
54 Ummon Stretches Out His Hands
Transcending life and death, actualizing Zen spirit, he casually cuts through iron and nails, lightly moves heaven and earth. Tell me, whose doing can that be?
Ummon asked a monk, ''Where have you recently come from?" The monk said, "From Saizen." Ummon said, "What words has Saizen offered lately?'' The monk stretched out his hands. Ummon struck him. The monk said, ''I had something to tell you." Ummon now stretched out his own hands. The monk was silent. Ummon struck him.
Controlling the head and tail of the tiger,
Exerting invincible influence
Over the four hundred provinces,
How precipitous he is!
The master says,
"One further word, I leave it open."
55 Dogo's "I Would Not Tell You"
Absolute truht - direct enlightenment; positive acitvity - immediat understanding. Quick as sparks and lightning, he cuts through the complications. Sitting on the tiger's head and grasping its tail, he is still like a thousand-foot cliff. Be that as it may, is there any case for giving a clue for others' sake?
One day Dogo accompanied by his disciple Zengen, went to visit a family in which a funeral was to take place, in order to express sympathy, Zengen touched the coffin and said, "Tell me, please, is this life or is this death?" Dogo said, "I would not tell you whether it is life or it is death." Zengen said, "Why don't you tell me?" Dogo said, "No, I would not tell you." On the their way home, Zengen said, "Osho, please be kind enough to tell me. If not, I will hit you." Dogo said, "Strike me if you like, but I would not tell you." Zengen struck Dogo.
Later Dogo passed away. Zengen came to Sekiso and told him the whole story. Sekiso said, "I would not tell you whether it is life or it is death." Zeugen said, "Why don't you tell me?" Sekiso said, "No, I would not tell you." Upon these words, Zeugen attained sudden realization.
One day Zengen, carrying a hoe, went up and down the lecture hall as if he were searching for something. Sekiso said, "What are you doing?" Zengen said, "I am searching for the spiritual remains of our dead teacher." Sekiso said, "Limitless expanse of mighty roaring waves; foaming waves wash the sky. What relic of the deceased teacher do you seek?"
[Setcho says, "Alas! Alas!"]
Zengen said, "It is a way of acquiring strength." Taigen Fu said, "The deceased teacher's spiritual remains still exist.
Hares and horses have horns,
Cows and goats have none.
lt is quite infinitesimal, It piles up mountain-high.
The golden relic exists,
lt still exists now.
Foaming waves wash the sky.
Where can you put it? No, nowhere!
The single sandal returned to India
And is lost forever.
56 Kinzan and One Arrow Piercing the Three Barriers
No Buddha has ever come into the world; no Law has ever been handed down. Bodhidharma did not come to China; no transmission from mind to mind took place. People of today do not understand the truth but seek after it out in the external world. They do not know that even the thousand holy ones cannot discover the great cause that lies at each person's feet. Now, at this moment, how does it happen that while seeing, you do not see; hearing, you do not hear; speaking, you do not speak; and knowing, you do not know? If you have not yet understood this, study it in an old koan.
Ryo Zenkaku asked Kinzan, "What about when one arrow pierces the three barriers?" Kinzan said, "Bring out the master of the barriers and let me see him." Ryo said, "If that is the case, recognizing my fault, I will withdraw." Kinzan said, "How long will you keep me waiting?" Ryo said, "A good arrow! But it has achieved nothing." And he was about to leave. Kinzan said, "Wait a bit. Just come here." Ryo turned his head. Kinzan took hold of him and said, "Leaving aside for a moment the arrow that breaks through the three barriers-just shoot an arrow at me!" Ryo hesitated. Kinzan gave him seven blows and said, "I should let you go on puzzling over this for thirty years."
I'd take out the master of the barriers for you!
Be mindful, you who loose the arrow.
If you stick to the eyes, the ears are deafened;
If you discard the ears, the eyes are blinded.
How I like the arrow piercing the barriers;
The arrow's path is clearly seen!
Don't you recall, Gensha once said,
The man of might is master of the mind, prior to heaven.
57 Joshu' s ''I Alone Am Holy Throughout Heaven and Earth''
When you have not yet penetrated it, it is like silver mountains and iron cliffs. When you have penetrated it, you find you yourself are the silver mountains and iron cliffs. If you ask how to do it, I would say that if you attain realization in the exercise of ki, you will occupy the pinnacle of attainment and will allow not even the holy ones to spy on you. If you cannot do this, see and study the ancient' s doings as follows.
A monk said to Joshu, "It is said, 'The real Way is not difficult. It only abhors choice and attachment.' Now, what are nonchoice and non-attachment?" Joshu said, "I alone am holy throughout heaven and earth." The monk said, "It is stilI choice and attachment." Joshu said, "You country bumpkin! Where are choice and attachment?" The monk was speechless.
Deep as the sea, high as the mountains!
The fly' s attempt to face the gale!
The ant trying to attack the pillar!
Choice and attachment! Non-choice and non-attachment!
A cloth-covered drum that reaches the eaves!
58 Joshu' s "No Justification"
A monk said to Joshu, "You so often quote the words, 'The real Way is not difficult. lt only abhors choice and attachment.' Isn't that your point of attachment?" Joshu said, "A man asked me the same question once before, and five years later I have still found no justification for it."
King Elephant's yawn!
King Lion's roar!
Stop men's mouths.
North, south, east, and west,
The crow swoops, the hare bounds.
59 Joshu's "Why Not Quote to the End?"
Controlling the heavens, commanding the earth, transcending the holy, rising above the mundane, he shows us even in the myriad weeds the Wonderful Mind of Nirvana, and in the midst of Dharma battle holds the lifeline of the monk. Tell me, by what blessing can he be like that?
A monk said to Joshu, "'The real Way is no difficult. lt only abhors choice and attachment. If you say a word, there arise choice and attachment.' How, then, can you go about helping
someone?" Joshu said, ''Why don't you quote it to the end?" The monk said, "I have only this much in mind." Joshu said, "You know, the real Way is not difficult. It only abhors choice and attachment."
Spit in his face-he is not sullied;
Call him names-it doesn't touch him.
He walks like a tiger, moves like a dragon.
Spirits shriek, gods groan and weep.
His head is three feet long. Who is he?
Facing you, he stands silent, on a single leg.
60 Ummon's Staff Becoming a Dragon
Buddhas and sentient beings are not, by nature, different. Mountains, rivers, and your own self are all just the same. Why should they be separate and constitute two worlds? Even if you are well versed in Zen koans and know how to deal with them, if you stop there everything is spoiled. If you do not stop, the whole world will be dissolved, with not a particle of it left behind. Now tell me, what does it mean to be well versed in Zen koans?
Ummon held out his staff and said to the assembled monks, "The staff has transformed itself into a dragon and swallowed up the universe! Where are the mountains, the rivers and the great worId?"
The staff has swallowed up the universe.
Don't say peach blossoms float on the waters.
The fish that gets its tail singed
May fail to grasp the mist and clouds.
The ones that lie with gills exposed
Need not lose heart.
My verse is done.
But do you really hear me?
Only be carefree I Stand unwavering!
Why so bewildered?
Seventy-two blows are not enough,
I want to give you a hundred and fifty.
[Setcho descended from the rostrum waving his staff. The whole crowd ran away.]
61 Fuketsu's ''One Particle of Dust''
Setting up the Dharma banner and establishing the Dharma teaching-such is the task of the teacher of profound attainment. Distinguishing a dragon from a snake, black from white that is what the mature master must do. Now let us put aside for a moment how to wield the life-giving sword and the death-dealing blade, and how to administer blows with the stick: tell me, what does the one who lords it over the universe say?
Fuketsu said to the assembled monks, "If one particle of dust is raised, the state will come into being; if no particle of dust is raised, the state will perish."
Setcho [at a later time], holding up his staff, said to his disciples, "Is there anyone among you who will live with him and die with him?"
Let the elders knit their brows as they will;
For the moment, let the state be established.
Where are the wise statesmen, the veteran generals?
The cool breeze blows; I nod to myself.
62 Ummon's ''One Treasure''Engo's IntroductionWith untaught wisdom he engages in the subtle action of inaction. With unsolicited compassion, he becomes your true friend. With a single word, he kills you and saves you. In one move he lets you go and holds you fast. Tell me, who is it that comes in that way?Main Subject Ummon said to the assembled monks, "Between heaven and earth, within the universe, there is one treasure. It is hidden in the mountain form. You take the lantern, entering the Buddha hall, and take the temple gate, placing it above the lantern!" Verse
Look! On the ancient bank, Who is that Holding the fishing rod? Quietly moving clouds, Boundless waters, The bright moon, the white flowers of the reeds, You see by yourself!
63 Nansen Cuts the Cat in Two
What is beyond thinking must be the topic for serious discourse. What transcends words should be the subject of earnest investigation. When lightning flashes and shooting stars fall, you should display the power to drain the deepest lakes and overturn mountains. Has any of you acquired such ability?
Nansen one day saw the monks of the Eastern and Western halls quarreling over a cat. He held up the cat and said, "If you can give an answer, I will not kill it." No one could answer. Nansen cut the cat in two.
Thoughtless the monks of both halls;
Raising dust and smoke,
Out of control.
Fortunately, Nansen was there;
His deeds squared with his words.
He cut the cat in two
Regardless of who was right,
64 Joshu Puts His Sandals on His Head
Nansen told the previous story [Case 63] to Joshu and asked his opinion. Joshu then took off his sandals and, putting them on his head, went away. Nansen said, "If you had been there, the cat would have been saved."
He asked joshn to complete the koan.
It was their leisure time in Ch' ang-an. The sandals on the head-who has guessed?
Returning home, they were at rest.
65 A Non-Buddhist Philosopher Questions the BuddhaEngo's IntroductionIt has no form and yet appears. lt extends in every direction and is boundless. It responds spontaneously and works in emptiness. Even though you may be clever enough to deduce three from one instance, and to detect the slightest deviation at a glance, and though you may be so powerful that the blows fall from your stick like raindrops and your shouts sound like thunderclaps, you are not yet to be compared with the man of advanced enlightenment. What is the condition of such a man?Main Subject A non-Buddhist philosopher said to the Buddha, "I do not ask for words; I do not ask for non-words." The WorId-honored One remained silent for a while. The philosopher said admiringly, "The World-honored One, in his great mercy, has blown away the clouds of my illusion and enabled me to enter the Way." After the philosopher had gone, Ananda asked the Buddha, "What did he realize, to say he had entered the Way?'' The World-honored One replied, "A fine horse runs even at the shadow of the whip."Verse
The spiritual wheel does not tum; When it turns, it goes two ways. The brilliant mirror on its stand Divides beauty from ugliness, Lifts the clouds of doubt and illusion. No dust is found in the gate of mercy. A fine horse watches for the shadow of the whip; He goes a thousand miles a day. Once the Buddha made his mind tum back. Should the horse come back when I beckon, I'll snap my fingers thrice at him.
66 Ganto Laughed Loudly
Adapting himself adroitly to circumstances, displaying the spirit to capture a tiger; attacking now from the front, now in the flank, planning to seize the rebel; combining light and dark, holding fut and letting go; dealing with deadly serpents-this is the master's task.
Ganto asked a monk, "Where are you from?" The monk said, "From the western capital." Ganto said, "After the rebellion of Koso had been suppressed, did you get the sword?" The monk said, "Yes, I have got it." Ganto stretched out his neck before the monk and let forth a great yell. The monk said, "Your head has fallen." Ganto laughed loudly. Later, the monk visited Seppo, who asked, "Where are you from?" The monk said, "From Ganto." Seppo said, "What did he say to you?" The monk recounted the story. Seppo gave him thirty blows and drove him out.
Since the rebel was suppressed,
The sacred sword has been restored;
Why the laughter, the master knows.
Too small a reward, the thirty blows;
One gains, one loses.
67 Fu Daishi Concludes His Lecture on the SutraMain Subject Emperor Wu of Liang asked Fu Daishi to give a lecture on the Diamond Sutra. Fu Daishi mounted the platform, struck the reading desk with his baton, and descended from the platform. The emperor was dumbfounded. Shiko said to him, "Your Majesty, have you understood?" The emperor said, "No, I do not understand." Shiko said, "Daishi has concluded his lecture." Verse
Instead of staying in his hut, He gathered dust in Liang. Had Shike not lent a hand, He would have had to leave the country, As Bodhidharma did, by night.
68 Kyozan Asks Sansho's Name
Commanding the center of the heavens overturning the axis of the earth; capturing the tiger, distinguishing dragon from the snake: displaying such abilities, one can for the first time be called active and enlightened. And then words can meet words, spirit meet spirit. Tell me, who has ever been like that?
Kyozan asked Sansho, "What is your name?" Sansho said, "Ejaku!" Kyozan said, "Ejaku is my name!" Sansho said, "My name is Enen!" Kyozan laughed heartily.
Both grasping, both releasing-what fellows!
Riding the tiger-marvelous skill!
The laughter ends, traceless they go.
Infinite pathos, to think of them!
69 Nansen Draws a Circle
Where entry is barred, the Dharma Seal is like the iron ox's spirit. The monk who has passed through the thorny entanglements is like a snowflake on a red-hot hearth. Putting aside for a moment the "seven piercing and eight breaking through," what about acting independently of words and logic?
Nansen, Kisu, and Mayoku were on their way together to pay their respects to Chu Kokushi. When they were halfway there, Nansen drew a circle on the ground and said, "If you can say a word, I will go on with you." Kisu sat down in the middle of the circle. Mayoku, seeing this, made a bow just as a woman does. Nansen said, "Then I will not go." Kisu said, "What an attitude of mind!"
Yaki's arrow shot the monkey;
How straight it flew,
Circling the tree.
Out of thousands, even tens of thousands,
How many have hit the mark?
Corne, let us go home together.
No need to pay respects to Sokei
But again-why not?
Isn't it a smooth road to Sokei?
70 Isan' s "I Would Ask You to Say It"
A word is sufficient to the wise, as a flick of the whip is to a fine horse. One eon, one nen. One nen, one eon. What is immediacy? It is prior to words. Tell me, how do you attain to it?
Isan, Goho, and Ungan were standing together in attendance on Hyakujo. Hyakujo said to Isan, ''With your mouth and lips closed, how would you say it?'' Isan said, "I would ask you to say it." Hyakujo said, "I could say it. But if I did so, I fear I should have no successors."
"I would ask you to say it."
The tiger has got a crest
And sprung from the jungle! In the ten lands, spring is over.
Eternal under the golden sun
The fields of coral lie.
71 Goho's "Shut Up"
Hyakujo said to Goho, "With your mouth and lips dosed, how would you say it?" Goho said, "Osho You should shut up!" Hyakujo said, "In the distant land where no one stirs, I shall shade my eyes with my hand and watch for you."
"Osho! You should shut up!"
Upon the dragon's line
He plans his counterattack.
Let's think of General Li,
Who shot the eagle
In the distant sky.
72 Ungan's "Do You Have Them or Not?''
Hyakujo asked Ungan, "With your mouth and lips closed, how would you say it?" Ungan said, "Osho, do you have them or not?" Hyakujo said, "My successors will be missing."
"Osho! Do you have them or not.
The golden-haired lion
Does not crouch.
In twos and threes, they go the old way;
The master of Mount Taiyu
Snaps his fingers in vain.
73 Baso and the Hundred Negations
Preaching is non-preaching and nonteaching. Hearing is non-hearing and non-attaining. If preaching is nonpreaching non-teaching, what use is there in preaching? If hearing is non-hearing and non-attaining, what use is there in hearing? But this non-preaching and non-hearing are worth something. You are listening to me now, preaching here. How can we escape that criticism? Those who have eyes, see the following.
A monk said to Ba Taishi, "Independent of the four propositions and transcending the hundred negations, tell me plainly the meaning of Bodhidharma's coming from the West." Bashi said, "Today I am tired and cannot tell you. Ask Chizo about it." The monk asked Chizo, who said, "Why don't you ask the master?" The monk said, "He told me to ask you." Chizo said, "Today I have a headache and cannot tell you about it. Ask Brother Kai." The monk asked Brother Kai, who said, "Coming to this point, I do not understand." The monk told this to Ba Taishi, who said, "Zo's head is white, Kai's head is black."
"Zo's head is white, Kai's head is black!"
lt defies understanding.
Ba's horses trampled over the world;
Rinzai wasn't such a daylight robber.
Putting aside the four propositions, the hundred negations,
You can only nod to yourself.
74 Kingyu Osho and the Rice Pail
The Bakuya sword in hand, he cuts through all complications. The clear mirror hung high, he himself utters the words of Vairocana. In self-mastery he quietly puts on his clothes and takes his meal. In occult and playful samadhi, what will he do?
At every midday mealtime, Kingyu Osho would himself bring the pail of boiled rice and, in front of the refectory, dance and laugh loudly, saying, "Dear Bodhisattvas, come and take your meal."
[Setcho says, "Although Kingyn did this, he was not simple-minded."]
A monk said to Chokei, "The ancient worthy said, 'Dear Bodhisattvas, come and take your meal.' What does it mean?" Chokei said, "He seems to observe reflection and thanksgiving before the midday meal."
From among the white clouds, laughter rings out;
He brings the rice himself to give to the monks. If golden-haired, they will follow him,
Even thousands of miles away.
75 Ukyu's Unfair Blows
Th sacred sword is ever in hand: it death-dealing and lifce-giving. lt Is there it, it is here, simultaneously giving and taking. If you want to hold fast, you are free to hold fast. If you want to let go, you are free to let go. Tell me how it will be when one makes no distinction between host and guest, and is indifferent to which role one takes up.
A monk came from Joshu Osho's assembly to Ukyo, who said to him, "What do you find in Joshu's teaching? Is there anything different from what you find here?" The monk said "Nothing different." Ukyo said "If there is nothing different why don't you go back there?" and he hit him with his stick. The monk said, "If your stick had eyes to see, you would not strike me like that." Ukyo said, "Today I have come across a monk," and he gave him three more blows. The monk went out. Ukyo called after him and said, "One may receive unfair blows." The monk turned back and said, "To my regret, the stick is in your hand." Ukyo said, "If you need it, I will let you have it." The monk went up to Ukyo, seized his stick, and gave him three blows with it. Ukyo said, "Unfair blows! Unfair blows!" The monk said, "One may receive them." Ukyo said, "I hit this one too casually." The monk made bows. Ukyo said, "Osho! Is that how you take leave?" The monk laughed aloud and went out. Ukyo said, "That's it! That's it!"
Easy to call the snakes, hard to scatter them. How splendid they crossed swords! Although the sea is deep, it can be drained; The kalpa stone is hard, but wears away. Old Ukyu! Old Ukyu! Who is there like you? To give the stick to another - That was truly thoughtless!
76 Tanka's ''Have You Had Your Dinner?''
lt is as small as a particle of flour, as cold as ice and frost. It fills the universe, transcends light and darkness. Its depths cannot be fathomed, its summit is beyond reach. Holding fast and
letting go are all contained within it. Where is your absolute freedom, transcending all restrictions?
Tanka asked a monk, "Where are you from?" The monk replied, From the foot of the mountain." Tanka said "Have you had your dinner ?" The monk siid I have had it." Tanka said, "Is he open-eyed who brings food to a fellow like you and lets you eat it?" The monk could make no reply. Later Chokei asked Hofuku,"To give food to others is surely worthy. How could he fail to be open-eyed?" Hofuku said, "Both giver and receiver are blind." Chokei said, "Are you still blind, even though you exhaust every means?" Hofuku said, ''How can you call me blind?"
Exhaust every means, and you will not be blind;
You hold the cow's head to let it graze.
The four sevens, the two threes, the following band
Have handed down the Dharma treasure,
Raising dust and trouble to make men drown on land.
77 Ummon's ''A Sesame Bun''
If you work in the upward, transcendent way, you lead others by the nose; you are like a hawk taking a dove. If you work in the downward way, you place yourself at others' disposal, like a tortoise in its shell. If any of you come forward and say: There is originally no upward and downward; what use is it to talk in that way? I will say to them: I know you are living among dead spirits. Now, tell me, how do you distinguish black from white?
[Here Engo pauses a while, then goes on to say:]
If there is a rule, follow it; if not, follow a precedent.
A monk asked Ummon, "What is the teaching that transcends the Buddha and patriarchs?" Ummon said, "A sesame bun."
Talking about transcendence,
Men come up with countless puzzles.
Just look! All patched up,
Full of holes.
Ummon stopped the gaps
With his sesame bun.
But problems still remain
To torture you.
78 Bodhisattvas in the Bath
In ancient times, there were sixteen Bodhisattvas. At the monks' bathtime, following the rule, they had baths. They suddenly experienced realization through the touch of the water. You reverend Zen students, do you understand their words? "We experienced the subtle and clear touch, have attained Buddhahood, and still retain it." You will be able to attain this condition after seven times piercing and eight times breaking through.
The enlightened man is master of one single thing,
Stretches at ease on his bed.
If, in a dream, the ancients said they were enlightened,
Let them emerge from the scented water, and I would spit at them!
79 Tosu and "Every Voice Is the Buddha's Voice''
The Great Way manifests itself naturally; it is bound by no fixed rules. The teacher does not have to exert himself to bring his students wider control. Tell me, who has ever given such an example?
A monk said to Tosu, "It is said 'Every voice is the Buddhas voice. Is that true?" Tosu said, "Yes, it is true." The monk said, "Master, don t let me hear you breaking wind." Tosu gave him a blow with his stick. The monk asked again, "The sutra says, 'Rough words and soft words
both lead to the first principle. Is that true?" Tosu said "Yes, that is true." The monk said, ''Master, may I call you a donkey?" Tosu gave him a blow with his stick.
Tosu! Tosu! The wheel turns unchecked.
One shot, two victories! That blow, this blow!
Pity him who mocks the tide:
He will fall in it and die!
If he suddenly comes alive-
A hundred surging, roaring rivers!
80 Joshu's "A Newborn Baby"
A monk asked Joshu, "Does a newborn baby possess the six senses or not?" Joshu said, "It is like throwing a ball into the rapids." The monk later asked Tosu, "What is the meaning of throwing a ball into the rapids'?" Tosu said, "Thought after thought without ceasing."
The question: the six senses. Purposeless.
Well acquainted with it, the masters.
A ball is thrown into the rapids;
Do you know where it is carried?
81 Yakusan' s King of the King DeerEngo's IntroductionWhen he seizes the opponent's banners and captures the enemy's drums, even the thousand holy ones cannot hold him. When he cuts through the complications, even a battle-hardened veteran cannot touch him. This is not due to his using occult powers, nor to his returning to the absolute itself. Tell me, how can he attain such wonderful ability?Main SubjectA monk said to Yakusan, "On the grassy plain there is a herd of deer, with the king deer among them. How could one shoot the great king of the king deer?" Yakusan said, "Watch the arrow!" The monk threw himself on the Boor. Yakusan called his attendant and said, "Boy! Take this dead fellow away!" The monk ran away. Yakusan said, "There is no end to these people who play with mud pies."[Setcho says in a comment here, "For three steps he might be alive, but he would not survive five."]Verse
The king of the king deer: watch him! One arrow, and he ran three steps; Five steps, and he might drive a tiger. The hunter had a true eye, you know. Now Setchö cries, "Watch the arrow!"
82 Tairyu's ''Indestructible Dharma Body"
The fishing line at the end of the rod-the one with eyes will know. The spiritual activity which transcends the ordinary - the enlightened one will discern. What, then, is the fishing line at the end of the rod, and the spiritual activity which transcends the ordinary?
A monk said to Tairyü, "Man's body will ultimately decompose; what is the indestructible Dharma body?" Tairyu said, "Flowers cover the hillside like brocade, The vale lies deep in shade."
The question came from ignorance;
The answer was not understood.
The moon is clear, the wind is cool,
The wintry pine stands on the peak.
I laugh heartily to hear the saying,
"When you encounter a man of the Way,
Meet him with neither words nor non-words."
He held the crystal whip and smashed the jewels;
Otherwise, faults develop.
For there are laws in the land,
With three thousand regulations.
83 Ummon's ''The Old Buddha Communes with the Pillar''
Ummon spoke to his disciples and said, "The old Buddha communes with the pillar. What level of spiritual activity would that be?" And he himself gave the answer for them, saying, "Clouds gather over the southern hill, rain falls on the northern mountain."
Rain on the northern mountain, clouds over the southern hill;
Four sevens and two threes, I see them face to face!
In Korea they assemble in the lecture hall,
In China they have not beaten the drum or rung the bell.
Joy in the midst of pain, pain in the midst of joy;
Who dares to say, "Gold is the same as soil"?
84 Yuima's ''The Gate to the One and Only''
There is nothing right that can truly be called right. There is no wrong that can truly be called wrong. With right and wrong eliminated, gains and losses are forgotten. It is all naked and exposed. Now I want to ask you, what is in front of me and what is behind me? Some monk may come forward and say that in front there ate the Buddha hall and the temple gate, and behind, the bedroom and the sitting room. Tell me, is that man open-eyed? If you can see through him, I will acknowledge that you have seen the ancient worthy.
Yuima asked Manjusri, "What is the Bodhisattva's Gate to the One and Only?" Manjusri answered, "To my mind, in all Dharmas, there are no words, no preaching, no talking, no activity of consciousness. It is beyond all questions and answers. That is entering the Gate to the One and Only." Then Manjusri said to Yuima, "Each of us has had his say. Now I ask you, what is the Bodhisattva's Gate to the One and Only?"
[Setcho says, "What did Yuima say?" And again he says, "I have seen through him."]
You foolish old Yuimakitsu,
Sorrowful for sentient beings, You lie sick in Biyali,
Your body all withered up.
The teacher of the Seven Buddhas comes,
The room is cleared of everything,
You ask for the Gate to the One and Only;
Are you repulsed by Manju's words?
No, not repulsed; the golden-haired lion
Can find you nowhere.
85 The Master of Toho Hermitage Roars Like a TigerEngo's IntroductionControlling the world, he allows not the least speck of dust to escape; and all men on earth give up their weapons and still their tongues. This is the enforcement of the monk's ordinance. The beams from his forehead pierce the four directions. This is the activity of th monk's diamond eye. He turns iron into gold and gold into iron, and both holds fast and lets go. This is the action of the monk's staff. He stops the mouths of all peopl under the sun, making them silent and as if driven three thousand miles away. This is the force of the monk's spirit. But what would you say when one falls short of these abilities?Main SubjectA monk cam' to visit the master of Toho hermitage and said to him, "If, on this mountain, you wer suddenly to meet a tiger, what would you do?" The Master roared like a tiger. The monk pretended to b frightened. The master roared with laughter. The monk said, "You old robber!" The master said, "Try as you may, you cannot do anything to me." The monk stopped short. [Setcho says, "They were both veteran robbers, but they stopped their ears and tried to steal the bell."] Verse
A chance, and if you fail to seize it, You miss by a thousand miles. The tiger had fine stripes But no fangs and claws. Remember the battle on Mount Taiyu: Their words and actions shook the earth. If you have eyes to see, you see They caught both head and tail of it.
86 Ummon's "Everybody Has His Own Light''
Controlling the world, he allows not the least speck of dust to escape. He cuts off the deluded stream of thought, leaving not a drop behind. If you open your mouth, you are mistaken. If you doubt for a moment, you have missed the way. Tell me, what is the eye that has pierced the barriers?
Ummon spoke to his assembly and said, "Everybody has his own light. If he tries to see it, everything is darkness. What is everybody' s light?" Later, in place of the disciples he said "The halls and the gate. And again he said, "BIessing things cannot be better than nothing."
lt illuminates itself,
He gives a clue to the secret.
flowers have fallen, trees give no shade;
Who does not see, if he looks?
Seeing is non-seeing, non-seeing is seeing.
Facing backward on the ox,
He rides into the Buddha hall.
87 Ummon's "Medicine and Sickness Cure Each Other"
The clear-eyed man knows no restriction. At one time he stands on the top of the mountain, with the weeds thick around him. At another time he is in the bustle of the marketplace, enjoying perfect ease of mind. When he displays the wrath of Nada, he is three-faced and six-armed. When he shows the mercy of the Sun-faced and Moon-faced, he gives forth the all-embracing light of blessing. In every particle, he reveals all the bodies of the Buddha; mixing with people, he trudges through the mire. When he performs a transcendent action, even Buddhas cannot follow him, and they are driven back thousands of miles. Is there anyone among you who can go with him and act with him? See the following.
Ummon said to his disciples, "Medicine and sickness cure each other. All the earth is medicine. Where do you find yourself?''
All the earth is medicine;
Ancient and modem, men make a great mistake.
Shut the gate, but do not build the cart;
The universe is the highway, vast and wide.
Mistaken, all is mistaken.
Though their noses are stuck up to heaven,
They will still be pierced for a rope.
88 Gensha' s Man of Three Disabilities
In his teaching, the master often turns two into three. Talking of the profound, he goes through and through it, seven times piercing and eight times breaking through. He adapts himself to all circumstances, penetrates the most mysterious secrets. Acting on the principles of the Buddha, he leaves no trace of his actions. Where do the complicated koans come from? If you have an eye to see, see the following.
Gensha said to the assembly, "Every teacher in the land talks of saving things and delivering mankind. When a man of three disabilities comes to you, how do you deal with him? A blind man does not see holding up the hossu, a deaf person does not hear your words, a dumb person will not talk even if you want him to. How do you approach him? If you cannot, Buddhism can bestow no benefit." A monk asked Ummon about this topic. Ummnon said, "Make your bows." The monk did so. Ummon made as if to push the monk with his staff. The monk retreated, and Ummon said, "You are not blind." He then said, "You are not deaf." Ummon asked the monk, "Do you understand?" The monk replied, "No, I do not understand." Ummon said, "You are not dumb." The monk attained an insight.
Blind, deaf, and dumb: none can come near;
Throughout the country, none could understand,
Riro did not discern the true color,
Nor Shiko th subtle sound.
Let us sit quietly by the window
And enjoy the falling leaves, the spring flowers.
I say, "Do you understand?
lt is a holeless iron hammer."
89 Ungan' s "The Whole Body Is Hand and Eye''
When the entire body is the eye, while seeing you do not see; when the entire body is the ear, while hearing you do not hear; when the entire body is the mouth, while speaking you do not speak; when the entire body is the mind, while thinking you do not think. Putting aside the entire body, if there are no eyes, how do you see? If there are no ears, how do you hear? If there is no mouth, how do you speak? If there is no mind, how do you think? If you are familiar with this point, you are in the company of the ancient Buddhas. However, putting aside being in the company of the Buddhas, with whom should you study Zen?
Ungan asked Dogo, "'What use does the great Bodhisattva of Mercy make of all those hands and eyes?" Dogo said, "It is like a man straightening his pillow with his outstretched hand in the middle of the night." Ungan said, "I have understood." Dogo said, "How do you understand?" Ungan said, "The whole body is hand and eye.'' Dogo said, "You have had your say, but you have given only eightenths of the truth." Ungan said, "How would you put it?'' Dogo said, ''The entire body is hand and eye."
To say ''the whole'' is all right;
''The entire" is also well said.
If you take it conceptually,
You are a million miles away.
When the giant roe spreads its
The clouds of six directions vanish,
Its wingbeats lash the seas
Of the four realms. This is raising a speck of dust:
Much bleating but little wool!
Don't you see!
The net of jewels reflect each other!
Where does the eye of the staff come from?
90 Chimon and the Essence of Prajna
As to what stands prior to the Word, not one phrase has been handed down, even by the thousand holy ones. One thread maintains its continuity before your eyes through countless eons. lt is all pure and naked, with hair erect and ears pricked up. Tell me, what is this about?
A monk asked Chimon, "What is the essence of prajna?" Chimon said, "The oyster swallows the full moon." The monk said, "What is the action of prajna Chimon said, "The hare conceives by the full moon."
A piece of emptiness transcends description;
This has made heaven and earth remember Sunyata.
The oyster conceives by the moon-amazing!
Monks ever since have done Dharma battle on it.
91 Enkan and the Rhinoceros Fan
Transcend delusive attachments, deceptive ideas, and all kinds of entanglements. Proclaim the marvelous teachings and uphold the precious treasury of the true Dharma. Secure the free command of the ten directions and the perfect serenity of the eight dimensions. Let the land of peace be realized. Now, tell me, is there anyone who will go hand in hand with the Buddha, testifying to the same realization, living the same life and dying the same death? See the following example.
Enkan one day called to his attendant and said, "Bring me the rhinoceros fan." The attendant said, "The fan has been broken." Enkan said, "If the fan is broken, bring the rhinoceros to me." The attendant made no reply. Tosu [at a later time, speaking in place of the attendant] said, "I would not refuse to bring it out, but I fear the head and horns would not be perfect." [Setcho says, "I want that imperfect one."] Sekiso said, "If I return it to you, there will be no more of it." [Setcho says, "There is still the rhinoceros."] Shifuku drew a circle and wrote the character for "ox" in it. [Setcho says, "Why didn't you bring it out earlier?"]
Hofuku said, "My master, you have grown old; employ someone else to attend you." [Setcho says, "Long labor lost."]
You have long used the rhinoceros fan.
If asked, however, you know nothing of it.
Infinite, the cool breeze, and the head and horns.
Like clouds and rain which have passed, it cannot be captured.
(Setcho again said, "If you want the cool breeze to return and the head
and horns to be regained, each of you say a turning word." And he
said, "If the fan is broken, bring the rhinoceros to me." Then a monk
came forward and said, "You monks, go back to the meditation hall."
Setcho said, "I wanted to catch a giant whale, but only a toad came
up." And he descended from the rostrum.)
92 The World-honored One Takes His Seat
One string is plucked, and he discerns the whole tune. Such insight is hardly to be met with even in a thousand years. Like a hawk pursuing the hare, he at once demonstrates his superiority. He embodies all the teachings in one phrase, encompasses the thousand great worlds in a single grain of dust. Can any of you go with him, living the same life and dying the same death? Can you testify to the truth by going through and through it yourself?
The World-honored One one day took his seat on the platform. Manjusri struck the table with the gavel and said, "Clearly understand the Lord of Dharma's Law, the Lord of Dharma's Law is like this." The World-honored One descended from his seat.
The brilliant ones among the constellation
Know the Lord of Dharma's Law is not like this. Had Saindhava been there,
Manjusri need not have struck with the gavel.
93 Taiko's "You Fox-Devil"
A monk asked Taiko, "What is the meaning of Chokei's words, 'He seems to observe reflection and thanksgiving before the midday meal'?" Taiko performed a dance. Then monk made bows. Taiko said, "What makes you make bows?" The monk performed a dance. Taiko said, "You fox-devil!"
One arrow glanced off, the second struck deep·
Don't tell me yellow leaves are gold.
If the waves of Sokei were all the same,
Many would drown on land.
94 Sutra and "Unseeing"
As to what stands prior to the Word, not one phrase has been handed down, even by the thousand holy ones. One thread maintains its continuity before your eyes through countless eons. Entirely pure, entirely naked is the white ox under the blue sky. The golden-haired lion stands with eyes upturned, ears erect. Put the lion aside for a while and tell me, what is the white ox under the blue sky?
In the Surangama Sutra the Buddha says, "When unseeing, why do you not see the unseeing? If you see the unseeing, it is no longer unseeing. If you do not see the unseeing, it is not an object. Why isn't it yourself?''
Entire the figure of an elephant,
Complete the image of an ox;
To have seen is a defect of the eyes.
The wisest have groped in the dark.
Do you want to see the golden-headed Buddha?
Through countless eons, none is more than halfway there.
95 Chokei and Hofuku Discuss the Buddha's Words
Do not remain where Buddha is; if you do, horns will grow on your head. Run quickly past the place where there is no Buddha; if not, weeds will grow like a jungle. Even if you are entirely naked and absolutely bare, and the unhindered interpenetration of mind and circumstances is attained, you still cannot avoid resembling the fool who watched the tree stump to catch a hare. Now tell me, what are you to do in order to be free from these faults?
Chokei one day said, "Even if you say that the Arhats still have three poisons, you should not say that the Tathagata has two languages. I do not say that the Tathagata has no language but that he does not have two languages." Hofuku said, "What is the Tathagata's language?" Chokei said, "How can a deaf person hear it?" Hofuku said, "I know you are speaking from a secondary principle." Chokei said, "What is the Tathagata' s language?" Hofuku said, "Have a cup of tea."
Who speaks from the first, who from the second principle?
Dragons do not lie in puddles;
Where dragons lurk,
Waves arise when no wind blows.
Oh! You Ryo Zen monk,
You've bruised your head on the Dragon Gate.
96 Joshu' s Three Turning Words
Joshu said, "Clay Buddhas cannot pass through water; metal Buddhas cannot pass through a furnace; wooden Buddhas cannot pass through fire."
Clay Buddhas cannot pass through water:
The divine light illumines heaven and earth; Had Shinko not stood in the snowMany
deceptions, many pretenses.
Metal Buddhas cannot pass through a furnace:
Men came to visit Shiko and found
The warning notice on the board;
But everywhere-the gentle breezes.
Wooden Buddhas cannot pass through fire:
I always remember how the monk Hasoda
Broke down the oven of sacrifice,
Whose god so long had bound himself.
97 The Diamond Sutra's "The Transgression Is Wiped Out''
Even if now you hold fast and now you let go, you are not yet an expert. To infer three things from one example is not enough. Even if you can move heaven and earth, dumbfound the four quarters, crash like thunder, flash like lightning, upset the ocean, overturn mountains, and pour down like torrents of rain, you still fall far short of it. Is there anyone among you who can control the center of the heavens and the axis of the earth?
The Diamond Sutra says, "If anyone is despised by others, even if he has committed some serious transgression in a former life and been doomed to fall into the evil world, the transgression in the former life is wholly wiped out by virtue of the fact that he is despised in this life."
Holding the jewel,
Merit is rewarded.
Free from merit,
The jewel reflects no more.
The heavens seek in vain.
Do you know the secret?
"Everything lies open,"
Says Setcho again.
98 Tempyo's Two Wrongs
During the summer session I have burdened you monks from the five lakes with a great deal of talking. The diamond treasure sword cuts through all complications. Now, after all my instruction, you are left with nothing. Tell me, what is the diamond treasure sword? Lift up your eyes and see the sharpness of the sword in the following.
When Tempyo went on a pilgrimage visiting teachers, he stayed with Sai-in. He always said, "Don't say you understand Buddhism. I find no one who can speak on it." One day Sai-in heard him and called, "Ju-i [Tempyo's personal name]!" Tempyo looked up at Sai-in. Sai-in said, "Wrong!" Tempyo walked a few steps away and Sai-in once again said, "Wrong!" Tempyo turned and approached Sai-in, who said, "I have just said, 'Wrong!' Who is wrong? Am I or are you?" Tempyo said, "I am." Sai-in said, "Wrong!" Tempyo said nothing. Sai-in said, "Stay here this summer and let us discuss the two wrongs." But Tempyo instead left Sai-in, Later, when Tempyo was abbot of his own temple, he said to his disciples, "When I went on a pilgrimage it happened, in the course of events, that I was brought to see Abbot Shim-yo [Sai-in' s other name], who told me twice that I was wrong. It was not then that I was wrong, however, but when I first started south on my pilgrimage. I had already said it was wrong."
Zen people are too often frivolous;
They study much, learn much, but to no avail.
How deplorable, laughable, is old Tempyo I
You say you were wrong to make a pilgrimage:
Sai-in' s good words grow pale beside my "Wrong."
Once again Setcho says,
"Some monk may come forth and say, 'Wrong!'
Can you tell my 'Wrong' from Tempyo's?"
99 Cha Kokushi and the Ten-bodied Herdsman
When the dragon calls, mists and clouds arise; when the tiger roars, gales begin to blow. The supreme teachings of the Buddha ring out with a silvery voice. The actions of Zen masters are like those of the most expert archers, whose arrows, shot from opposite directions, collide in midair. The truth is revealed for all ages and all places. Tell me, who has ever been like this?
Emperor Shukuso asked, Chu Kokushi, "What is the ten-bodied-herdsman?" Chu Kokushi said, "Go trampling on Vairocana's head!" The emperor said, "I cannot follow you." Chu Kokushi said, "Don't take the self for the pure Dharma body."
"National Teacher" was forced upon him; He made the name his own. He helped the son of heaven trample on Vairocana's head. With a iron hammer he shmashed the golden bones; What else is left in heaven and earth? In the three thousand worlds the lands and seas lie sleeping. Who will dare enter the dragon's cave.
100 Haryo' s Sword Against Which a Hair Is Blown
We sow the cause and reap the results; starting carefully, we end in consummate perfection. From the outset nothing was kept secret. When I talked, I had nothing to give you. Some of you will say to me, "You have talked so much during the sununer retreat, and now you say that from the beginning you had nothing to give us. What do you mean?" I reply that I will tell you when you have attained realization. Now, I ask you, is this simply because I do not fail to observe the first principle, or is there some real advantage in doing so? See the following.
A monk asked Haryo, "What is the sword against which a hair is blown?" Haryo said, "Each branch of the coral embraces the bright moon."
To cut off discontent,
Rough methods may be best:
Now they slap, now they point.
The sword lies across the sky,
Snow glistens in its light,
No one can forge or sharpen it. "Each branch of the coral
Embraces the bright moon"
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