Record of Dong-Sarn Lerng-Guy

Translated by William F. Powell.

-1-

The Master, whose personal name was Lerng-Guy, was a member of the Yiu family of Wooid-Kai. Once, as a child, when reading the Heart Sutra with his tutor, he came to the line, “There is no eye, no ear, no nose, no tongue, no body, no mind.” He immediately felt his face with his hand, then said to his tutor, “I have eyes, ears, a nose, a tongue, and so on; why does the sutra say they don’t exist?” 1

This took the tutor by surprise, and, recognizing Dong-Sarn’s uniqueness, he said, “I am not capable of being your teacher.” and instruct him to go to Ng-Sid Mountain.

The Master went there, after making obeisance to Zen Master Mo, he took the robe and shaved his head. 2 When he was twenty-one he went to Song Mountain 3 and took the Complete Precepts. 4

-2-

The Master set out on pilgrimage, and, going first to visit Narm-Tsiun, 5 he arrived when preparations were under way for Mar-Tzoe’s 6 memorial banquet. 7

Narm-Tsiun posed the following question for the assembly, saying, “Tomorrow, we will pay homage to Mar-Tzoe. Do you think he will return or not?” 8

No one offered a reply, so the Master came forward and said, “He will come as soon as his companion is present.” 9

Narm-Tsiun said, “This fellow, though young, is suitable for being cut and polished.” 10

The Master replied, “Wor-Serng(*), do not crush what is good into something mean.”

(* Wor-Serng: Venerable monk)

-3-

Next the Master made a visit to Gwai-Sarn 11 and said to him, “I have recently heard that the National Teacher Tzong of Narm-Yerng 12 maintained the doctrine that nonsentient beings expound the Dharma. 13 I have not yet comprehended the subtleties of this teaching.

Gwai-Sarn said, “Can you, Acarya, remember the details of what you heard?”

“Yes, I can,” said the Master.

“Then why don’t you try to repeat it for me?” said Gwai-Sarn.

The Master began, “A monk asked Hui-chung, ‘What sort of thing is the mind of the ancient buddhas?’ 14

“The National Teacher replied, ‘It’s wall and tile rubble.’ 15

‘Wall and tile rubble! Isn’t that something nonsentient?’ asked the monk.

‘It is,’ replied the National Teacher.

“The monk said, ‘And yet it can expound the Dharma?’

‘It is constantly expounding it, radiantly expounding it, expounding it without ceasing,’ replied the National Teacher.

“The monk asked, ‘Then why haven’t I heard it?’

“The National Teacher said, ‘You yourself haven’t heard it, but this can’t hinder those who are able to hear it’

‘What sort of person acquires such hearing?’ asked the monk.

‘All the sages have acquired such hearing,’ replied the National Teacher.

“The monk asked, ‘Can you hear it, Wor-Serng?’

‘No, I can’t,’ replied the National Teacher.

“The monk said, ‘If you haven’t heard it, how do you know that nonsentient beings expound the Dharma?’

“The National Teacher said, ‘Fortunately, I haven’t heard it. If I had, I would be the same as the sages, and you, therefore, would not hear the Dharma that I teach.’

‘In that case, ordinary people would have no part in it,’ said the monk. 16

‘I teach for ordinary people, not sages,’ replied the National Teacher.

‘What happens after ordinary people hear you?’ asked the monk.

‘Then they are no longer ordinary people,’ said the National Teacher.

“The monk asked, ‘According to which sutra does it say that nonsentient beings expound the Dharma?’

‘Clearly, you shouldn’t suggest that it’s not part of the sutras. Haven’t you seen it in the Avatamsaka Sutra? It says, “The earth expounds Dharma, living beings expound it, throughout the three times, everything expounds it.” ‘ ” 17 The Master thus completed his narration.

Gwai-Sarn said, “That teaching also exists here. However, one seldom encounters someone capable of understanding it.”

Dong-Sarn said, “I still don’t understand it clearly.Would the Master please comment.”

Gwai-Sarn raised his fly wisk, 18 saying, “Do you understand?”

“No, I don’t. Please, Wor-Serng, explain,” replied Dong-Sarn.

Gwai-Sarn said, “It can never be explained to you by means of the mouth of one born of mother and father.”

Dong-Sarn asked, “Does the Master have any contemporaries in the Way who might clarify this problem for me?”

“From here, go to Yau-Yiun of Lai-Ling where you will find some linked caves. 19 Living in those caves is a man of the Way, Yiun-yen. 20 If you are able to ‘push aside the grass and gaze into the wind,’ 21 then you will find him worthy of your respect” said Gwai-Sarn.

“Just what sort of man is he?” asked Dong-Sarn.

Gwai-Sarn replied, “Once he said to this old monk, 22 ‘What should I do if I wish to follow the Master?’

“This old monk replied, ‘You must immediately cut off your defilements.’

“He said, ‘Then will I come up to the Master’s expectation?’

“This old monk replied, ‘You will get absolutely no answer as long as I am here.’ ”

-4-

Dong-Sarn accordingly took leave of Gwai-Sarn and proceeded directly to Yiun-yen’s. Making reference to his previous encounter with Kueishan, he immediately asked what sort of person was able to hear the Dharma expounded by nonsentient beings.

Yiun-yen said, “Nonsentient beings are able to hear it.”

“Can you hear it, Wor-Serng?” asked Dong-Sarn.

Yiun-yen replied, “If I could hear it, then you would not be able to hear the Dharma that I teach.”

“Why can’t I hear it?” asked Dong-Sarn.

Yiun-yen raised his fly wisk and said, “Can you hear it yet?”

Dong-Sarn replied, “No, I can’t.”

Yiun-yen said, “You can’t even hear it when I expound the Dharma; how do you expect to hear when a nonsentient being expounds the Dharma?”

Dong-Sarn asked, “In which sutra is it taught that nonsentient beings expound the Dharma?”

Yiun-yen replied, “Haven’t you seen it? In the Amit?bba Sυtra it says, ‘Water birds, tree groves, all without exception recite the Buddha’s name, recite the Dharma.'” 23

Reflecting on this, Dong-Sarn composed the following g?th?:

How amazing, how amazing!
Hard to comprehend that nonsentient beings expound the Dharma.
It simply cannot be heard with the ear,
But when sound is heard with the eye, then it is understood.

-5-

Dong-Sarn said to Yiun-yen, “I have some habits 24 that are not yet eradicated.”

Yiun-yen said, “What have you been doing?”

Dong-Sarn replied, “I have not concerned myself with the Four Noble Truths.” 25

Yiun-yen said, “Are you joyful yet?” 26

Dong-Sarn said, “It would be untrue to say that I am not joyful. It is as though I have grasped a bright pearl in a pile of shit.”

-6-

Dong-Sarn asked Yiun-yen, “When I wish to meet you, what shall I do?”

“Make an inquiry with the chamberlain,” replied Yiun-yen. 27

Dong-Sarn said, “I am inquiring right now.”

“What does he say to you?” asked Yiun-yen.

-7-

Once, when Yiun-yen was making some straw sandals, 28 Tung-shan approached him and said, “I would like to have the Master’s eyes.”

Yiun-yen said, “Where have yours gone?”

“Lerng-Guy has never had them,” replied Dong-Sarn.

Yiun-yen said, “Supposing you did have them, where would you put them?”

Dong-Sarn said nothing. Yiun-yen said, “Isn’t it the eye that desires eyes?”

“It is not my eye,” replied Dong-Sarn.

“Get out!” thundered Yiun-yen.

-8-

When Dong-Sarn was taking his leave, Yiun-yen asked, “Where are you going?”

Dong-Sarn replied, “Although I am leaving you, I still haven’t decided where I’ll stay.”

Yiun-yen asked, “You’re not going to Hunan, are you?”

“No,” replied Dong-Sarn.

“You’re not returning to your native town, are you?” asked Yiun-yen.

“No,” replied Dong-Sarn.

“When will you return?” asked Yiun-yen.

“I’ll wait until you have a fixed residence,” said Dong-Sarn.

Yiun-yen said, “After your departure, it will be hard to meet again.”

Dong-Sarn said, “It will be hard not to meet.”

-9-

Just before leaving, 29 Dong-Sarn asked, “If, after many years, someone should ask if I am able to portray the Master’s likeness, how should I respond?” 30

After remaining quiet for a while, Yiun-yen said, “Just this person.” 31

Dong-Sarn was lost in thought. Yiun-yen said, “Chieh Acarya, having assumed the burden of this Great Matter, 32 you must be very cautious.”

Dong-Sarn remained dubious about what Yiun-yen had said. Later, as he was crossing a river, he saw his reflected image and experienced a great awakening to the meaning of the previous exchange. He composed the following g?th?:

Earnestly avoid seeking without,
Lest it recede far from you.
Today I am walking alone,
Yet everywhere I meet him.
He is now no other than myself,
But I am not now him.
It must be understood in this way
In order to merge with Suchness.

-10-

Later, during a memorial service before Yiun-yen’s portrait, a monk asked, “When the former master said, ‘Just this person,’ was it actually this?”

Dong-Sarn replied, “It was.”

The monk said, “What did he mean?”

“At that time I nearly misunderstood the former master’s intent,” said Dong-Sarn.

The monk said, “I wonder if the former master actually knew reality.” 33

Dong-Sarn said, “If he didn’t know reality, how could he have known such a way in which to answer? If he knew reality, why did he go to the trouble of answering that way?”

-11-

Because the Master was conducting a memorial feast for Yiun-yen, a monk asked, “What teaching did you receive while you were at Yiun-yen’s place?”

The Master said, “Although I was there, I didn’t receive any teaching.”

“Since you didn’t actually receive any teaching, why are you conducting this memorial?” asked the monk.

“Why should I turn my back on him?” replied the Master.

“If you began by meeting Narm-Tsiun, 34 why do you now conduct a memorial feast for Yiun-yen?” asked the monk.

“It is not my former master’s virtue or Buddha Dharma that I esteem, only that he did not make exhaustive explanations for me,” replied the Master.

“Since you are conducting this memorial feast for the former master, do you agree with him or not?” asked the monk.

The Master said, “I agree with half and don’t agree with half.”

“Why don’t you agree completely?” asked the monk.

The Master said, “If I agreed completely, then I would be ungrateful to my former master.”

-12-

Yiun-yen, addressing the assembly, said, “A son exists in a certain household who always answers whatever is asked.”

The Master came forward and asked, “How big a library does he have in his room?”

Yiun-yen said, “Not a single word.”

The Master said, “Then how does he know so much?”

“Day or night, he never sleeps,” replied Yiun-yen.

“Is it all right to ask him a question?” asked the Master.

“He could answer, but he won’t,” said Yiun-yen.

-13-

The prior 35 returned from a visit to Shih-shih. 36 Yiun-yen asked him, “Since you entered the Stone Caverns, you shouldn’t return just so, should you?”

The prior made no reply.

Dong-Sarn replied for him, “Someone had already occupied his place there.”

Yiun-yen said to Dong-Sarn, “And what will you do when you go?”

The Master said, “One should not break with customary etiquette.”

-14-

Yiun-yen asked a nun, “Is your father living?”

The nun replied, “Yes, he is.”

Yiun-yen asked, “How old is he?”

The nun said, “Eighty years old.”

Yiun-yen said, “You have a father who is not eighty. Do you know who that is?”

The nun answered, “Isn’t he the one who has come just so?” 37

Yiun-yen said, “That person is still no more than the child or the grandchild.”

The Master said, “Actually, even the person who has not come just so is no more than the child or the grandchild.”

-15-

On the Master’s first visit to Lu-tsu, 38 he payed homage and stood waiting. After a short time he went out and re-entered. Lu-tsu said, “Just so, just so. So that’s how you are!”

The Master said, “There is definitely someone who disagrees.”

Lu-tsu said, “Why do you concern yourself with eloquence?”

The Master accordingly did obeisance and attended Lu-tsu for several months.

-16-

A monk asked Lu-tsu, “What is wordless speaking?” 39

Lu-tsu asked, “Where do you keep your mouth?”

The monk replied, “There is no mouth.” 40

Lu-tsu said, “With what will you eat?”

The monk didn’t reply.

The Master said in his place, “He isn’t hungry. What food would he eat?”

-17-

The Master visited Nan-Yiuan. 41 When he went up to the Dharma Hall, Nan-Yiuan said, “We have already met.”

The Master then left the hall. But the next day he went up to the hall again and asked, “Yesterday I was the recipient of the monk’s benevolence. However, I don’t know where it was that we met before.”

Nan-Yiuan said, “Between mind and mind there is no gap. They all flow into the sea of original nature.” 42

The Master said, “I was nearly overly credulous.”

-18-

When the Master took his leave, Nan-y˛an said, “Make a thorough study of the Buddha Dharma, and broadly benefit the world.”

The Master said, “I have no question about studying the Buddha Dharma, but what is it to broadly benefit the world?”

Nan-Yiuan said, “Not to disregard a single being.”

-19-

The Master went to Ching-chao to pay respects to the monk Hsingp’ing. 43 Hsing-p’ing said, “You shouldn’t honor an old dotard.”

The Master said, “I honor one who is not an old dotard.”

Hsing-p’ing said, “Those who are not old dotards don’t accept honoring.”

The Master said, “Neither do they obstruct it.”

-20-

Then the Master asked, “What sort of thing is the mind of the ancient buddhas?” 44

Hsing-p’ing said, “It is your very mind.”

The Master said, “Although that’s so, it’s still a problem for me.”

Hsing-p’ing said, “If that’s the way it is, you should go ask a wooden man.” 45

The Master said, “I have a single sentence with which to express it, and I don’t rely on the words of the sages.”

Hsing-p’ing said, “Why don’t you go ahead and say it?”

The Master said, “It’s none of my affair.”

-21-

When the Master was taking his leave, Hsing-p’ing said, “Where will you go?”

The Master said, “I will just roam about, without any fixed place to stop.”

Hsing-p’ing said, “Will it be the Dharma-body or the Reward-body that roams about?” 46

The Master said, “I would never explain it that way.”

Hsing-p’ing clapped his hands.

-22-

The Master, together with Uncle Mi, 47 called on Pai-yen. 48 Pai-yen asked them, “Where did you come from?”

The Master replied, “We came from Hunan.”

“What is the surname of the intendant there?” asked Pai-yen. 49

“I didn’t get his surname,” the Master replied.

“What is his given name?” asked Pai-yen.

“I didn’t get his given name either,” replied the Master.

“Does he still administer affairs or not?” asked Pai-yen.

“He has ready assistants,” said the Master.

“Does he still make his circuit tours?” asked Pai-yen. 50

“No, he doesn’t,” replied the Master.

“Why doesn’t he make his circuit tours?” inquired Pai-yen.

The Master turned, swinging his sleeves, and went out. The next morning Pai-yen entered the hall, and, summoning the two shang-tsos, said to them, “Yesterday this old monk was unable to reply to you with an apt turning phrase. 51 The whole night I could not rest easily, so today please provide me with a turning phrase. If it accords with this old monk’s mind, then I will make provisions for congee, and we can pass the summer together.” 52

The Master said, “Please go ahead and ask, Wor-Serng.”

“Why doesn’t he make his circuit tours?” asked Pai-yen.

“He’s far too noble for that,” said the Master.

Pai-yen made provisions for the congee, and together they passed the summer.

-23-

The Master together with Uncle Mi went to visit Lung-shan. 53

The old monk asked, “There are no roads into these mountains, so what route did you follow to get here?” 54

“Granted, there are no roads, so what, then, did you follow to get here, Wor-Serng?” countered the Master.

The old monk said, “I didn’t come following clouds or water.”

“How long has the Wor-Serng lived on this mountain?” asked the Master.

“I am not concerned with the passing of springs and autumns,” replied the old monk.

“Which was situated here first, you, Wor-Serng, or the mountain?” asked the Master.

“I don’t know,” said the old monk.

“Why don’t you know?” asked the Master.

“I didn’t come following gods or men,” replied the old monk.

“What reason do you, Wor-Serng, find for dwelling on this mountain?” asked the Master.

“I saw two clay oxen 55 struggling with each other, until they fell into the sea. Ever since then, fluctuations have ceased,” the old monk replied.

The Master paid homage with a renewed sense of decorum.

-24-

When the Master was making a pilgrimage, he met an official who said, “I intend to write a commentary on the Third Patriarch’s Inscription on Believing in Mind.” 56

“How will you explain the sentence, ‘As soon as there is assertion and denial, the mind is lost in confusion’?” 57

-25-

When the Master first set out on a pilgrimage, he met an old woman carrying water. The Master asked for some water to drink.

The old woman said, “I will not stop you from drinking, but I have a question I must ask first. Tell me, how dirty is the water?” 58

“The water is not dirty at all,” said the Master.

“Go away and don’t contaminate my water buckets,” replied the old woman.

-26-

When the Master was in Leh-t’an, he met Head Monk Ch’u, 59 who said, “How amazing, how amazing, the realm of the Buddha and the realm of the Path! 60 How unimaginable!”

Accordingly, the Master said, “I don’t inquire about the realm of the Buddha or the realm of the Path; rather, what kind of person is he who talks thus about the realm of the Buddha and the realm of the Path?”

When, after a long time, Ch’u had not responded, the Master said, “Why don’t you answer more quickly?”

Ch’u said, “Such aggressiveness will not do.”

“You haven’t even answered what you were asked, so how can you say that such aggressiveness will not do?” said the Master.

Ch’u did not respond. The Master said, “The Buddha and the Path are both nothing more than names. Why don’t you quote some teaching?”

“What would a teaching say?” asked Ch’u.

“When you’ve gotten the meaning, forget the words,” 61 said the Master.

“By still depending on teachings, you sicken your mind,” said Ch’u.

“But how great is the sickness of the one who talks about the realm of the Buddha and the realm of the Path?” said the Master.

Again Ch’u did not reply. The next day he suddenly passed away. At that time the Master came to be known as “one who questions head monks to death.”

-27-

When the Master was crossing a river with Uncle Mi of Shen-shan, he asked, “How does one cross a river?”

“Don’t get your feet wet,” said Shen-shan.

At your venerable age, how can you say such a thing!” said the Master.

“How do you cross a river?” asked Shen-shan.

“Feet don’t get wet,” replied the Master. 62

-28-

One day the Master was cultivating the tea plot with Shen-shan. The Master threw down his mattock and said, “I haven’t the least bit of strength left.”

“If you haven’t any strength left, how is it that you can even say so?” asked Shen-shan.

“I always used to say that you were the one with lots of strength” said the Master.

-29-

Once, while the Master was on pilgrimage with Shen-shan, they saw a white rabbit suddenly cross in front of them. Shen-shan remarked, “How elegant!”

“In what way?” asked the Master.

“It is just like a white-robed commoner paying respects to a high minister.”

“At your venerable age, how can you say such a thing!” said the Master.

“What about you?” asked Shen-shan.

“After generations of serving as a high official, to temporarily fall into reduced circumstances,” replied the Master.

-30-

When Shen-shan had picked up a needle to mend clothes, the Master asked, “What are you doing?”

“Mending,” answered Shen-shan.

“In what way do you mend?” asked the Master.

“One stitch is like the next,” said Shen-shan.

“We’ve been traveling together for twenty years, and you can still say such a thing! How can there be such craftiness?” said the Master.

“How then does the venerable monk mend?” asked Shen-shan.

“Just as though the entire earth were spewing flame,” replied the Master.

-31-

Shen-shan said to the Master, “There is nowhere that a friend 63 would be unwilling to go for the sake of friendship. Could you express the essential point of this in a few words?”

“Uncle, with such an idea how could you ever succeed!” replied the Master.

As a result of the Master saying this, Shen-shan was suddenly awakened, and from then on his manner of speaking became unusual. Later, when they were crossing a log bridging a stream, the Master preceded Shen-shan across, picked up the log, and said, “Come on over.”

“Acarya!” called Shen-shan.

The Master threw down the log.

-32-

Once, when the Master was walking with Shen-shan, he pointed to a roadside shrine and said, “There is a person in there teaching about mind and nature.”

“Who is it?” asked Shen-shan.

“If you can ask an appropriate question, Uncle, death will be completely cut off,” said the Master.

“Who teaches about mind and nature?” said Shen-shan.

“While dead is living,” 64 added the Master.

-33-

The Master asked Hsueh-feng, 65 “Where did you come from?”

“I came from T’ien-t’ai,” replied Hsueh-feng.

“Did you meet Chih-i?” 66 asked the Master.

“I will definitely partake of the iron cudgel,” 67 said Hsueh-feng.

-34-

Hsueh-feng went to pay his respects to the Master.

The Master said, “When you enter the door, you must say something. 68 It won’t do to say that you have already entered.”

“I have no mouth,” said Hsueh-feng.

“Although you may have no mouth, you should still give me back my eyes,” said the Master.

Hsueh-feng said nothing.

-35-

Once, when Hsueh-feng was carrying a bundle of firewood, he arrived in front of the Master and threw the bundle down.

“How heavy is it?” asked the Master.

“There is no one on earth who could lift it,” replied Hsueh-feng.

“Then how did it get here?” asked the Master.

Hsueh-feng said nothing.

-36-

The Master wrote the character for “Buddha” on a fan. Yiun-yen saw it and, taking exception, wrote the character for “un-.” 69 The Master altered it, writing the character for “not.” 70 Hsueh-feng saw the fan and immediately got rid of it. 71

-37-

Hsueh-feng was serving as the rice cook. 72 Once, while he was culling pebbles from the rice, the Master asked, “Do you cull out the pebbles and set the rice aside, or do you cull out the rice and set the pebbles aside?”

“I set aside the rice and pebbles at one and the same time,” replied Hsueh-feng.

“What will the monks eat?” asked the Master.

Hsueh-feng immediately turned over the rice bucket.

The Master said, “Given your basic affinities, you will be most compatible with Te-shan.” 73

-38-

One day the Master asked Hsueh-feng, “What are you doing?”

“Chopping out a log for a bucket,” replied Hsueh-feng.

“How many chops with your axe does it take to complete?” asked the Master.

“One chop will do it,” answered Hsueh-feng.

“That’s still a matter of this side. What about a matter of the other side?” asked the Master.

“To accomplish it directly without laying a hand on it,” replied Hsuehfeng.

“That’s still a matter of this side. What about a matter of the other side?” asked the Master.

Hsueh-feng gave up.

-39-

When Hsueh-feng took his leave, the Master said, “Where are you going?”

“I’m returning to the peaks,” replied Hsueh-feng.

“When you left, what road did you come out by?” asked the Master.

“I came out by way of Flying Monkey Peaks,” 74 said Hsueh-feng.

“What road will you take now on your return?” asked the Master.

“I’ll go by way of Flying Monkey Peaks,” said Hsueh-feng.

“There is a person who doesn’t go by way of Flying Monkey Peaks. Would you recognize him?” asked the Master.

“I wouldn’t recognize him,” said Hsueh-feng.

“Why wouldn’t you recognize him?” asked the Master.

“He has no face,” replied Hsueh-feng.

“If you wouldn’t recognize him, how do you know he has no face?” asked the Master.

Hsueh-feng made no reply.

-40-

Tao-ying of Yiun-chu 75 came to see the Master. The Master asked, “Where have you come from?”

“I came from Ts’ui-wei’s place,” 76 replied Yiun-chu.

“What words does Ts’ui-wei have for his disciples?” asked the Master.

Yiun-chu replied, “When Ts’ui-wei was performing a memorial for the arhats, 77 I asked, ‘Do the arhats actually come when a memorial is held for them?’ Ts’ui-wei replied, ‘What do you eat every day?'”

“Did he really say that?” asked the Master.

“He did,” replied Yiun-chu.

“It was not in vain that you called on such an able master,” said the Master.

-41-

The Master asked Yiun-chu, “What is your name?”

“Tao-ying,’ answered Yiun-chu.

“Say what it was before that,” said the Master.

“Before that I was not called Tao-ying,” said Yiun-chu.

“That’s the same as this old monk’s answer to Tao-wu,” 78 said the Master.

-42-

Yiun-chu asked, “Why did the Patriarch come from the West?” 79

“Acarya! Later, when you have a handful of thatch to cover your head, 80 should someone ask you that, how would you answer?” asked the Master.

“Tao-ying has erred,” said Yiun-chu.

-43-

One day, when the Master was talking with Yiun-chu, he asked, “I have heard that the great monk Ssu was reborn in Wo as a king. 81 Is that so or not?”

“If it was Ssu, he will not become a Buddha,” replied Yiun-chu.

The Master concurred.

-44-

The Master asked Yiun-chu, “Where have you been?”

“I’ve been walking the mountains,” replied Yiun-chu.

“Which mountain was suitable for residing on?” asked the Master.

“None was suitable for residing on,” said Yiun-chu.

“In that case, have you been on all the country’s mountains?” said the Master.

“No, that isn’t so,” said Yiun-chu.

“Then you must have found an entry-path,” said the Master.

“No, there is no path,” replied Yiun-chu.

“If there is no path, I wonder how you have come to lay eyes on this old monk,” said the Master.

“If there were a path, then a mountain would stand between us, Hoshang,” said Yiun-chu.

The Master said, “Henceforth, not by a thousand, not even by ten thousand people will Yiun-chu be held fast.”

-45-

Once, while the Master was crossing a river with Yiun-chu, the Master asked, “How deep is this river?”

“Not wet,” replied Yiun-chu.

“Vulgar fellow!” said the Master.

“What would you say?” asked Yiun-chu.

“Not dry,” replied the Master.

-46-

One day, when Yiun-chu was doing garden work, he accidentally chopped an earthworm. The Master said, “Watch out!”

“It didn’t die,” said Yiun-chu.

“What about when the Second Patriarch went to Yeh-chou?” 82 said the Master.

-47-

The Master questioned Yiun-chu, “An icchantika 83 is someone who commits the five heinous sins. 84 How can such a one be filial?”

“Only in so doing does he become filial,” replied Yiun-chu.

-48-

The Master described for Yiun-chu the following exchange between Narm-Tsiun and a monk who was a specialist on the Maitreya S?tra. 85 “Narm-Tsiun asked the monk, ‘When will Maitreya descend to be reborn on the earth?

“The monk replied, ‘Maitreya is in his Heavenly Palace, and will descend later to be reborn.’

“Narm-Tsiun then said, ‘There is no Maitreya, either in heaven above or on earth below.'”

Following up on this, Yiun-chu asked, “If there is no Maitreya, either in heaven above or on earth below, I wonder who gave him his name?”

As soon as the Master was asked this question, his meditation seat began to shake. He said, “Acarya Ying, when I was with Yiun-yen and asked the old man a certain question, the brazier shook. 86 As soon as you questioned me today, my body was covered with sweat.”

-49-

After that Yiun-chu constructed a hut on San-feng Mountain. 87 He passed ten days there without coming to the meal hall. The Master asked him, “Why haven’t you come for meals these past several days?”

“Because regularly, every day, heavenly spirits 88 bring me food,” replied Yiun-chu.

The Master said, “Until now I have always said you were an exceptional person, but still you possess such views! Come to my place late tonight.”

Later that evening, when Yiun-chu went to Dong-Sarn’s room, the Master called out, “Hut Master Ying!” When Yiun-chu replied, the Master said, “Don’t think of good. Don’t think of evil. What is it?” 89

Yiun-chu returned to his hut and peacefully took up his meditation. From then on the heavenly spirits were completely unable to find him, and after three days, they ceased appearing.

-50-

The Master asked Yiun-chu what he was doing.

“Making soy paste,” Yiun-chu replied.

“How much salt do you use?” asked the Master.

“I add a little from time to time,” said Yiun-chu.

“How is the taste?” asked the Master.

“Done,” said Yiun-chu.

-51-

Shu-shan 90 arrived just when the Master was giving his morning lecture. He came forward and asked, “Please instruct us using terms that have yet to exist.”

“I won’t reply. No one would accept it.”

“Nonetheless, would it be of any value?” asked Shu-shan.

“Do you value it now?” asked the Master.

“I don’t value it, and so there is no point in shunning it,” answered Shu-shan.

-52-

One day during his lecture the Master said, “If you wish to know this Matter, 91 then you must be like the sear old tree that produces blossoms. 92 Then you will accord with it.”

Shu-shan asked, “How would it be if one does not oppose it anywhere?”

“Acarya, that would be something on the side of gaining merit. Fortunately, there is the merit of no merit. Why don’t you ask about that?”

“Isn’t the merit of no merit that of a person on the other side?” replied Shu-shan.

“Someone could have a good laugh at such a question as you have just asked,” said the Master.

“In that case, I would make myself remote,” said Shu-shan.

“Remoteness is neither remoteness nor non-remoteness,” said the Master.

“What is remoteness?” asked Shu-shan.

“It won’t do to call it ‘a person on the other side,'” said the Master.

“What is non-remoteness?” asked Shu-shan.

“That can’t be determined,” said the Master.

-53-

The Master asked Shu-shan, “What sort of person will be living during the Kalpa of Emptiness 93 when there are no human dwellings?”

“I wouldn’t recognize him,” replied Shu-shan.

“Would that person still have any ideas?” asked the Master

“Why don’t you ask him?” said Shu-shan.

“I am doing that now,” said the Master.

“What is he thinking?” asked Shu-shan.

The Master didn’t reply.

-54-

Shih-ch’ien of Ch’ing-lin 94 came to visit the Master. The Master asked, “Where have you just come from?”

“Wu-ling,” 95 replied Ch’ing-lin.

“How does the Dharma at Wu-ling compare with the Dharma here?” asked the Master.

“It’s a barbaric land in which bamboo shoots come up in winter,” replied Ch’ing-lin.

The Master said to an attendant, “Prepare some fragrant rice in a special crock and feed this man.”

Ch’ing-lin swung his sleeves and departed.

The Master said, “Later this person will cause great consternation among men.”

-55-

One day Ch’ing-lin came to take his leave. The Master asked, “Where will you go?”

Ch’ing-lin replied, “The adamantine disk 96 is not something concealed. Throughout the world it cuts the red dust.”

“Take good care of yourself,” said the Master.

Ch’ing-lin left with great care. The Master saw him to the gate and said, “Say something about leaving this way.”

“Step by step, I tread the red dust. No part of my body leaves a shadow,” 97 said Ch’ing-lin.

The Master remained silent for a while.

Ch’ing-lin said, “Why haven’t you said anything sooner, old Hoshang?”

“You’ve become very earnest!” said the Master.

“I have erred” said Ch’ing-lin, who then paid his respects and left.

-56-

Lung-ya 98 asked Te-shan, 99 “If I were holding the Mo-yeh sword 100 and intended to take the Master’s head, what would you do?”

Te-shan stretched out his head toward the monk and shouted, “Huo!” 101

“Your head has fallen,” said Lung-ya.

“Ha, ha!” laughed Te-shan loudly.

Later Lung-ya went to Dong-Sarn’s and told him about the previous incident.

The Master asked, “What did Te-shan say?”

“He didn’t say anything,” replied Lung-ya.

“Don’t say he didn’t say anything. Show this old monk Te-shan’s fallen head,” commanded the Master.

For the first time Lung-ya understood, and he admitted his error.

-57-

Lung-ya asked, “Why did the First Patriarch come from the West?” 102

“I will only answer you when Tung Creek 103 flows backwards,” replied the Master.

For the first time Lung-ya awoke to the significance of this issue.

-58-

Hsiu-ching of Hua-yen 104 said to the Master, “I am without a proper path. 105 I still can’t escape the vicissitudes of feelings and discriminating consciousness.”

“Do you still think there is such a path?” asked the Master.

“No, I don’t think there is any such path,” answered Hua-yen.

“Where did you get your feelings and discriminating consciousness?” asked the Master.

“I am asking you that in all seriousness,” said Hua-yen.

“In that case, you should go to a place where there is not an inch of grass for ten thousand li,” said the Master.

“Is it all right go to a place where there is not an inch of grass for ten thousand li?” asked Hua-yen.

“You should only go in such a way,” replied the Master.

-59-

Once when Hua-yen was carrying wood, the Master stopped him and asked, “If we met on a narrow path, what would you do?” 106

“Turn aside, turn aside,” said Hua-yen.

“Mark my words,” said the Master. “If you dwell in the South you will have one thousand followers, but if you dwell in the North, you will have only three hundred.” 107

-60-

Ch’in-shan 108 visited the Master. The Master asked, “Where have you come from?”

“From Ta-tz’u Mountain,” 109 replied Ch’in-shan.

“Were you able to see Huan-chung of Ta-tz’u?”

“Yes, I saw him,” said Ch’in-shan.

“Did you see his outward appearance or what was behind that appearance?” 110 asked the Master.

“I saw neither his outward appearance nor what was behind it,” replied Ch’in-shan.

The Master remained silent.

Ch’in-shan later said, “I left the Master too soon and did not completely acquire his mind”

-61-

After Ch’in-shan had been doing sitting mediation together with Yent’ou 111 and Hsueh-feng, the Master brought them tea. However, Ch’inshan had closed his eyes.

“Where did you go?” asked the Master.

“I entered sam?dhi,” 112 said Ch’in-shan.

“Sam?dhi has no entrance. Where did you enter from?” asked the Master.

-62-

T’ung of Pei-Yiuan 113 visited the Master. The Master went up to the Dharma Hall and said, “Cut down the host, 114 but don’t fall into secondary views.” 115

T’ung emerged from the assembly and said, “You should know that there is one man unaccompanied by a companion.” 116

“That is nothing more than a secondary view,” said the Master.

T’ung then flipped over his Zen cushion.

“Elder brother, what are you doing?” asked the Master.

“Only when my tongue has rotted out will I answer you, Wor-Serng,” replied T’ung. 117

Later T’ung was taking his leave of the Master and was planning to enter the mountains. The Master said, “Be careful. Flying Monkey Peaks are steep and beautiful.” 118

T’ung thought about this and did not enter the mountains.

-63-

Tao-ch’uan 119 asked the Master, “What is the essence of shunning the world?”

“Acarya! There is smoke rising under your feet,” said the Master.

Ch’uan immediately experienced awakening and did not go wandering elsewhere.

Yiun-chu offered the comment, “Under no circumstances should you be ungrateful to the Wor-Serng (Dong-Sarn), under whose feet smoke is also rising.”

The Master said, “Treading the Darkling Path is persevering in practice.” 120

-64-

The Master was eating some nuts with Head Monk T’ai 121 during the festival of the winter solstice when he suddenly said, “There is something the upper part of which props up heaven, the lower part of which props up the earth, is as black as lacquer, and is always in motion. In the midst of this motion, it can’t be grasped. Tell me where it is passing now.”

“It is passing where its motion takes it,” said T’ai.

The Master called his attendant and had him clear away the nut tray.

-65-

When the Master saw Yu Shang-tso 122 coming, he immediately rose and hid behind his Zen seat.

Yu said, “Why do you avoid me, Wor-Serng?”

“I have always said that it was the Acarya who didn’t see this old monk, ” said the Master.

-66-

While the Master was inspecting the rice paddies, he saw Shang-tso Lang 123 leading an ox.

“You should watch that ox carefully. Otherwise, I fear it will damage people’s rice seedlings,” said the Master.

“If it is a good ox, it shouldn’t damage people’s seedlings,” said Lang.

-67-

A monk asked Chu-Yiu, 124 “What is the practice of a ?raman?a? 125

“His practice should be such that nothing is absent, but if he is conscious of his practice, it is wrong.” 126

Another monk reported this to the Master, who said, “Why didn’t he say, ‘I wonder what practice that is?’ ”

The monk subsequently carried this comment to Chu-Yiu, who said, “Buddha-practice, Buddha-practice.”

The monk reported this to the Master, who said, “Yu-chou is all right, but Hsin-lo is insufferable.” 127

-68-

Again a monk asked, “How should a ?raman?a practice?”

The Master replied, “A three-foot head, a two-inch neck.” 128

The Master called his attendant and told him to convey these words to Wor-Serng Jan of San-sheng Temple. 129

San-sheng snatched at something in the attendant’s hand. The attendant then returned and reported this incident to the Master. The Master approved.

-69-

Wor-Serng Mi of Ching-chao 130 sent a monk to ask Yang-shan 131 the following question: “Right in this very moment, are you dependent on enlightenment?”

Yang-shan said, “There is no absence of enlightenment. Why fall into what is secondary?” 132

Mi then sent the monk to the Master with the question, “What is the ultimate?”

“You must ask Yang-shan,” replied the Master.

-70-

Ch’en Shang-shu 133 asked, “Among the fifty-two bodhisattvas, why isn’t the stage of subtle consciousness seen?” 134

“The shang-shu intimately sees the stage of subtle consciousness,” said the Master.

-71-

An official asked, “Is there a practice for people to follow?”

The Master said, “When you become a man, there is such a practice.”

-72-

The Master, addressing the assembly, said, “Brothers, it is the beginning of autumn, and the end of summer. 135 You may go east or west, but you should go only to a place where there is not a single inch of grass for ten thousand li.” 136 After pausing for a while he asked, “How does one go to a place where there is not a single inch of grass for ten thousand li?”

Later this was related to Shih-shuang, 137 who said, “Why didn’t someone say, ‘As soon as one goes out the door, there is grass’?”

The Master, hearing of this response, said, “Within the country of the Great T’ang such a man is rare.”

-73-

A monk said, “I would like to see the Wor-Serng’s original teacher. How can I do that?”

“If you are of comparable age, there will be no problem” the Master replied.

When the monk was about to reply, the Master said, “Don’t tread a previous path. You should formulate a question independently.”

The monk did not respond.

-74-

A monk asked, “How does one escape hot and cold?”

“Why not go where it is neither hot nor cold?” said the Master.

“What sort of place is neither hot nor cold?” asked the monk.

“When it’s cold, you freeze to death; when it’s hot, you swelter to death”

-75-

The Master went up to the hall and asked, “Is there anyone who does not reciprocate for the four forms of benevolence or respond to the three classes of beings?” 138

The assembly made no response.

The Master spoke again, saying, “If one does not personally experience the meaning of this, how can he transcend the tribulation of birth and death? 139 If constantly and without a break you don’t let any thought come into contact with things or any step come to rest, then you will accord with reality. You should strive earnestly and not pass the day at ease.”

-76-

The Master asked a monk, “Where have you come from?”

“From wandering in the mountains,” the monk said.

“Did you go to the top of any mountain?” asked the Master.

“Yes, I did,” the monk replied.

“Was there anyone on the top?” asked the Master.

“No, there wasn’t,” 140 said the monk.

“In that case, you didn’t reach the top,” said the Master.

“If it were the case that I hadn’t gone to the top, how could I know there was no one there?” responded the monk.

“Why didn’t you stay awhile?” asked the Master.

“I wasn’t opposed to staying, but there is one in India who wouldn’t permit it.”

“I’ve been suspicious of this fellow from the first,” the Master said.

-77-

A monk asked, “Why did the First Patriarch come from the West?”

The Master replied, “It is much like the chicken-scaring rhino.” 141

-78-

A monk asked, “If a snake were swallowing a frog, what would be the consequences of rescuing it or of not rescuing it?”

“If you were to rescue it,” said the Master, “then you would not be seeing with your two eyes. And if you were not to rescue it, shapes and shadows would no longer be manifest.”

-79-

A sick monk wanted to see the Master. Accordingly, the Master visited him. The monk said, “Wor-Serng, why don’t you rescue the sons and daughters of householders?”

The Master asked, “What sort of household are you from?”

“I am from an icchantika household,” 142 said the monk.

The Master remained quiet. The monk continued, “What does one do when the four mountains 143 close in upon one?”

The Master said, “Formerly, this old monk also passed time under a householder’s roof.

“Will we meet again or not?” asked the monk.

“We will not meet again,” said the Master.

“Tell me where I am going,” said the monk.

“To a cleared field,” 144 said the master.

“The monk gave a sigh and said, “Take care of yourself.” Then, while still sitting, he died.

The Master tapped him on the head three times with his staff and said, “You know only how to go, not how to come.”

-80-

During an evening lecture, when the lanterns were not lit, a monk came forward to raise a question and then withdrew. The Master had his attendant light the lanterns and then directed him to summon the monk who had raised the question. When the monk arrived, the Master said to his attendant, “Obtain three pinches 145 of powdered incense and give it to this shang-tso.”

The monk swung his sleeves and left. From this he gained understanding, immediately got rid of his excess clothing and possessions, and set up a food kitchen.

After three years he took leave of the Master.

“Be careful,” said the Master.

At that time Hsueh-feng, who was standing by the Master, asked, “With regard to this monk who has just taken his leave, how long will it be before he returns?”

The Master said, “He knows only how to go, not how to come.”

The monk returned to the Monk’s Hall and, taking his place underneath the shelf for his bowls and robes, died while sitting. Hsueh-feng came to report this to the Master.

The Master said, “Even though he died like that, compared to this old monk, he differs by three rebirths.”

-81-

The Master asked a monk, “Where have you come from?”

“From the stupa of the Third Patriarch,” 146 he answered.

Since you have come from the Patriarch’s place, why is it that you still want to meet this old monk?” asked the Master.

“Because I am different from the Patriarch, but not from you, Hoshang,” said the monk.

“I want to be your original teacher. Is that possible?” asked the Master.

“Only if you first show your own face, Wor-Serng,” said the monk.

“I wasn’t here just now,” said the Master.

-82-

A monk asked, “What does it mean to say,: ‘Having come upon it, he doesn’t seize it. His mind aroused, he realizes its presence.’?” 147

The Master joined his palms and raised them to his head.

-83-

The Master asked Te-shan’s attendant, “Where have you come from?”

“From Te-shan’s,” replied the monk.

“Why have you come?” asked the Master.

“I’ve come out of filial feeling for you, Wor-Serng,” said the attendant.

“What is the most filial behavior in this world?” asked the Master.

The attendant did not reply.

-84-

The Master went up to the hall and said, “There is a person who, in the midst of a thousand or even ten thousand people, neither turns his back on nor faces a single person. Now you tell me, what face does this person have?”

Yiun-chu came forward and said, “I am going to the Monk’s Hall.”

-85-

One time the Master said, “If you would experience that which transcends even the Buddha, you must first be capable of a bit of conversation.”

A monk asked, “What kind of conversation is that?”

“When I am conversing, you don’t hear it, Acarya,” said the Master.

“Do you hear it or not, Wor-Serng?” asked the monk.

“When I am not conversing, I hear it,” replied the Master.

-86-

A monk asked, “What is proper questioning and answering?”

“When it doesn’t come from the mouth,” replied the Master.

“If someone were to question you, would you answer or not?” asked the monk.

“I’ve never been questioned,” replied the Master.

-87-

A monk asked, “What does it mean to say, ‘That which enters through the door is nothing precious’?” 148

“It would be better to disregard that.”

-88-

A monk said, “Since the Wor-Serng has entered the world to teach, how many people have acknowledged him?”

“Not a single person has acknowledged me,” replied the Master.

“Why hasn’t anyone acknowledged you?” asked the monk.

“Because the realm of each individual’s mind is like that of a king?”

-89-

The Master asked a monk who lectured on the Vimalakirti Nirde?a Sutra, “What is being referred to when the sutra says, ‘He cannot be known by intellect or perceived by consciousness’?” 149

“Those words praise the Dharma-body,” replied the monk.

“That which is called the Dharma-body has already been praised,” said the Master.

-90-

A monk asked, “Why can’t one obtain the robe and bowl when one ‘endeavors constantly to wipe it clean’? 150 What sort of person should obtain them?”

The Master replied, “One who does not enter through the door.” 151

“If one does not enter through the door, can he obtain them or not?” asked the monk.

“Although it’s just as I have said, it isn’t the case that he does not have them,” replied the Master.

The Master also said, “Even to say ‘From the very beginning not a single thing exists’ 152 is similarly not a case of being worthy of obtaining the robe and bowl. Now speak! Who is worthy of obtaining the robe and bowl? You should present a turning phrase right here. What turning phrase will you present?”

At that time there was a monk who presented ninety-six turning phrases, but none was suitable. Finally he presented a phrase that satisfied the Master.

“Why didn’t you say that earlier?” said the Master.

Another monk had eaves-dropped on these exchanges but had missed hearing the final turning phrase. Therefore, he sought help from the first monk, but that monk would not agree to talk about his answer. For three years he pestered the first monk, but in the end it still had not been explained to him.

One day, when he was ill, the second monk said, “For three years I have sought to be told that previous phrase, but I have not yet benefited from your kindness. Since I have not gotten it by peaceful means, I will use violence.” With that, the monk seized a knife and said, “If you don’t explain it for me, I will kill you, Shang-tso.”

“Wait a moment, Acarya. I will tell you,” said the first monk in terror.

“Even if I were to bring them out, there would be no place to put them.”

The second monk made his apologies.

-91-

A hut-dwelling monk, 153 who was not well would say to all the monks he saw, “Save me, save me.”

Many monks spoke to him, but none of their solutions satisfied him. When the Master went to call on him, the hut-dweller called out, “Save me.”

The Master asked, “What sort of salvation do you want?”

The hut-dweller asked, “Aren’t you the Dharma-descendant of Yiuehshan 154 and Yiun-yen?”

“I humbly acknowledge that I am,” replied the Master.

The hut dweller joined his hands in a gesture of respect and said, “I’m leaving you all,” and then passed away.

-92-

A monk asked, “When a dying monk passes away, where does he go?”

“After the fire, a single reed stem,” said the Master.

-93-

One day, when the monks had all gone out for general labor, the Master made the rounds of the monks quarters. Seeing a monk who had not gone out for general labor, he asked, “Why haven’t you gone out?”

“Because I am not well,” replied the monk.

“Have you ever gone out when you were in normal health?” asked the Master.

-94-

A monk said, “The Master normally tells us to follow the bird path. I wonder what the bird path is?” 155

“One does not encounter a single person,” replied the Master.

“How does one follow such a path?” asked the monk.

“One should go without hemp sandals 156 on one’s feet,” replied the Master.

“If one follows the bird path, isn’t that seeing one’s original face?” 157 said the monk.

“Why do you turn things upside down so?” asked the Master.

“But where have I turned things upside down?” asked the monk.

“If you haven’t turned things upside down, then why do you regard the slave as master?” said the Master.

“What is one’s original face?” asked the monk.

“Not to follow the bird path,” responded the Master. 158

-95-

The Master addressed the assembly, saying, “To know the existence of the person who transcends the Buddha, you must first be capable of a bit of conversation.”

A monk asked, “What sort of person is he who transcends the Buddha?”

“Not a Buddha,” replied the Master.

-96-

The Master asked a monk, “Where did you come from?”

The monk replied, “From making sandals.”

“Did you know how to make sandals by yourself, or did you rely on someone else?” asked the Master.

“I relied on someone else,” replied the monk.

“Did that person actually teach you or not?” asked the Master.

“If one accepts his teaching, there can be no mistake.”

-97-

A monk asked, “What does it mean to say, ‘Amidst the darkling, darken again’?” 159

“It’s like a dead person’s tongue,” replied the Master.

-98-

One time when the Master was washing his bowls, he saw two birds contending over a frog. A monk who also saw this asked, “Why does it come to that?”

The Master replied, “It’s only for your benefit, Acarya.”

-99-

“What sort of thing is the teacher of Vairocana 160 and the essence of the Dharma-body?” asked a monk.

“Rice straw and millet stalks,” replied the Master.

-100-

A monk asked, “Of the three Buddha-bodies, which one did not fall among the multitudinous things?” 161

The Master replied, “I was once very concerned about that.” 162

-101-

Among the assembly there was an old monk who returned from a visit to Yiun-yen’s. The Master asked him, “What did you go to Yiun-yen’s to do?”

“I couldn’t do anything,” replied the monk.

The Master substituted this reply: “Cliffs mounting layer upon layer.”

-102-

A monk asked, “What is the meaning of ‘blue-green mountains, the father of white clouds’?” 163

“A place not densely wooded,” replied the Master.

“What is the meaning of ‘white clouds, the child of blue-green mountains’?” asked the monk.

“No distinction between East and West,” replied the Master.

“What is the meaning of ‘the white clouds hang about all day’?” asked the monk.

“Can’t leave,” replied the Master.

“What is the meaning of ‘the blue-green mountains completely unknown’?” asked the monk.

“Nothing to watch,” said the Master.

-103-

A monk asked, “What kind of grass is on the other shore?”

“Grass that doesn’t sprout,” answered the Master.

-104-

The Master asked a monk, “What is the most tormenting thing in this world?”

“Hell is the most tormenting thing,” answered the monk.

“Not so. When that which is draped in these robe threads is unaware of the Great Matter, that I call the most tormenting thing,” said the Master.

-105-

The Master asked a monk, “What is your name?”

“I,” answered the monk.

“What, then, is the Acarya’s host?” asked the Master.

“Just who you see answering,” replied the monk.

The Master said, “How sad, how sad. The likes of people today are all just like this monk. They can only see themselves as the horse behind the donkey. That is to make the Buddha Dharma common. They still don’t even understand the guest’s view of the host. How could they perceive the host from the point of view of the host?”

“What is the host’s view of the host?” asked the monk.

“That is for you to say,” said the Master.

“What I can speak about is the guest’s view of the host. What is the host’s view of the host?” said the monk.

“To speak that way is easy, but to carry on that way is very difficult,” the Master said. He then recited the following g?th?:

Really! Look at the followers of the Way these days.
Innumerable are those who acknowledge the main entrance.
It’s just like setting out for the capital to pay homage to the emperor
But only reaching T’ung Pass 164 and stopping.

-106-

The Master went up to the hall, and said, “The Way has no thought of accommodating man; man has no thought of accommodating the Way. If you wish to know the meaning of this, one is an old man and the other is not.” 165

-107-

The following incident was brought up. When Ng-Sid 166 went to Shih-t’ou’s, he said, “If in a word you can say something appropriate, I will stay. If you can’t, I will leave.”

Shih-t’ou took his seat, and Ng-Sid left. Shih-t’ou immediately called, “Acarya, Acarya!”

Ng-Sid turned his head back.

Shih-t’ou said, “From birth to death there is only this. What’s the use of turning your head this way and that?”

Ng-Sid was suddenly awakened and broke his walking stick.

The Master said, “Because Ng-Sid was not a master at that time, it was too difficult for him to fully appreciate what had taken place. So although things happened as they did, Ng-Sid still had farther to go.”

-108-

A monk was taking leave of Ta-tz’u. Ta-tz’u asked, “Where are you going?”

“To Kiangsi,” answered the monk.

“May I trouble you with something?” asked Ta-tz’u.

“What is it?” asked the monk.

“Would you mind taking this old monk with you?” asked Ta-tz’u.

“There is already someone who surpasses you, Wor-Serng, but I can’t even take him,” answered the monk.

Ta-tz’u went to rest.

Later the monk told the Master about this. The Master said, “Why did you answer like that, Acarya?”

“How would you have answered, Wor-Serng?” asked the monk.

The Master said, “All right, I’ll take you.”

-109-

Later the Master asked this monk, “What other teachings does Ta-tz’u have?”

The monk said, “Once, when addressing the assembly, he said, ‘To talk about ten feet is not as good as accomplishing a foot. To talk about a foot is not as good as accomplishing an inch.’ ” 167

“I wouldn’t have said it that way,” said the Master.

“How would you have said it, Wor-Serng?” asked the monk.

“People talk about what they cannot do and do what cannot be talked about,” said the Master.

-110-

Once, when Yiueh-shan was walking in the mountains with Yiun-yen, a knife in his belt made a noise. Yiun-yen asked, “What made that noise?”

Yiueh-shan drew out the knife and made a powerful slashing motion just in front of his face.

The Master described this incident for the assembly and said, “Look at Yiueh-shan. He inclined his body to deal with this matter. If the people of today want to clarify the Supreme Matter, they must first experience this kind of mind?”

-111-

During an evening assembly, Yiueh-shan did not have the lanterns lit. He said, “I have something to say to you, but until the bull gives birth to a calf, I will not do so.”

A certain monk said, “The bull has already given birth to a calf. It’s only that you haven’t told us what you have in mind.”

Yiueh-shan said, “Attendant! Bring a lantern.”

By the time the lantern arrived the monk had withdrawn and was lost among the assembly of monks.

Yiuyen recounted this incident to the Master and asked, “What do you think about that?”

“Although the monk understood, he was simply not willing to pay homage,” replied the Master.

-112-

The Master recounted the following discussion:

” Yiueh-shan asked a monk, ‘Where did you come from?’

‘From Hunan,’ replied the monk.

‘Is Tung-t’ing Lake 168 full of water or not?’ asked Yiueh-shan.

‘It’s not full,’ replied the monk.

‘After such a long period of rain, why isn’t it full?’ asked Yiueh-shan.

“The monk didn’t answer.”

Tao-wu said, “It’s full.”

Yiun-yen said, “Replete and becalmed.”

The Master said, “In what kalpa has it ever increased or decreased?”

-113-

Yiueh-shan said to a monk, “It’s said you know how to cast horoscopes. Is that true?”

“I must admit it is,” replied the monk.

“Try to cast my horoscope,” said Yiueh-shan.

The monk did not reply.

Yiun-yen recounted this to the Master and asked, “What about you?”

“Please tell me what month you were born in, Wor-Serng” said the Master.

-114-

The Master composed the “G?th? of the Five Ranks, the Lords and Vassals:” 169

Phenomena within the real:
At the beginning of the night’s third watch, 170 before there is moonlight,
Don’t be surprised to meet yet not recognize
What is surely a familiar 171 face from the past.

The real within phenomena:
An old crone, having just awakened, comes upon an ancient mirror;
That which is clearly reflected in front of her face is none other than her own likeness.
Don’t lose sight of your face again and go chasing your shadow.

Coming from within the real:
Amidst nothingness there is a road far from the dust.
If you are simply able to avoid the reigning monarch’s personal name,
Then you will surpass the eloquence of previous dynasties.

Going within together:
Two crossed swords, neither permitting retreat:
Dexterously wielded, like a lotus amidst fire. 172
Similarly, there is a natural determination to ascend the heavens.

Arriving within together:
Falling into neither existence nor nonexistence, who dares harmonize?
People fully desire to exit the constant flux;
But after bending and fitting, in the end still return to sit in the warmth of the coals.

-115-

The Master went up to the hall and said, “When looking upon, what is it? When serving, what is it? When accomplishing, what is it? When accomplishing mutually, what is it? When there is the accomplishment of accomplishment, what is it?”

A monk asked, “What is ‘looking upon’?”

“When eating, what is it?” replied the Master.

“What is ‘serving’?” asked the monk.

“When ignoring, what is it?” replied the Master.

“What is ‘accomplishing’?” asked the monk.

“When throwing down a mattock, what is it?” replied the Master.

“What is ‘accomplishing mutually’?” asked the monk.

“Not attaining things,” replied the Master.

“What is the ‘accomplishment of accomplishment’?” asked the monk.

“Nothing shared,” replied the Master.

The Master offered the following g?th?:

The sage kings from the beginning made Yao the norm;
He governed the people by means of rites and kept his dragonwaist bent.
When once he passed from one end of the market to the other,
He found that everywhere culture flourished and the august dynasty was celebrated.
For whom do you wash your face and apply makeup?
The sound of the cuckoo’s call urges one home;
Countless multitudes of flowers have fallen, yet the cuckoo’s call is not stilled;
Going farther into the jumbled peaks, in deep places its call continues.
The blooming of a flower on a sear old tree, a spring outside of kalpas;
Riding backwards on a jade elephant, chasing the ch’i lin. 173
Now hidden far beyond the innumerable peaks,
The moon is white, the breeze cool at the approach of sunrise.
Ordinary beings and Buddha have no truck with each other;
Mountains are naturally high, waters naturally deep.
What the myriad distinctions and numerous differences show is that
Where the chukar cries, many flowers are blooming.
Can’t stand head sprouting horns anymore; 174
When the mind rouses to seek the Buddha, it’s time for compunction.
In the unimpeded vista of the Kalpa of Emptiness, 175 when no one is perceived,
Why go south in search of the fifty-three? 176

-116-

Because Ts’ao-shan 177 was taking his leave, the Master transmitted this teaching to him. “When I was at Master Yiun-yen’s, he secretly entrusted me with the Jewel Mirror Sam?dhi, 178 thoroughly conveying its essence. Now I am giving it to you. It goes as follows:

The Dharma of Suchness, directly transmitted by buddhas and patriarchs,
Today is yours; preserve it carefully.
It is like a silver bowl heaped with snow and the bright moon concealing herons ?
When classified they differ, but lumped together their whereabouts is known.
The Mind, not resting in words, accommodates what arises;
Tremble and it becomes a pitfall; missing, one falls into fretful hesitations.
Neither ignore nor confront what is like a great ball of flame. 179
Giving it literary form, immediately defiles it.
Clearly illuminated just at the middle of the night, it does not appear in the morning light;
It is a standard for all beings, used to extricate them from all suffering.
Although it takes no action, it is not without words.
Like gazing into the jewel mirror, form and reflection view each other;
You are not him, but he is clearly you.
Just as in the common infant, the five characteristics are complete;
No going, no coming, no arising, no abiding, Ba-ha wa-wa, speaking without speaking; 180
In the end, things are not gotten at, because the words are still not correct.
In the six lines of the doubled li hexagram, Phenomena and the Real interact;
Piled up to become three, each transformed makes five. 181
Like the taste of the [five-flavored] chih grass, like the [fivepronged] vajra; 182
Secretly held within the Real, rhythm and song arise together.
Penetration to the source, penetration of the byways, Grasping the connecting link, grasping the route.
Acting with circumspection is auspicious; 183 there is no contradiction.
Innately pure, moreover subtle, no connection with delusion or enlightenment.
According to time and circumstance, it quietly illuminates.
Fine enough to penetrate where there is no space, large enough to transcend its boundaries.
Being off by the fraction of a hairsbreadth, the attunement of major and minor keys is lost.
Now there is sudden and gradual because principles and approaches have been set up;
With the distinction of principles and approaches, standards arise.
Even if one penetrates the principle and masters the approach, the true constant continues as a [defiled] outflow.
Externally calm, internally shaking, like a tethered charger or a hiding rat;
The former sages, having compassion for such people, made a gift of the Dharma.
In their topsy-turvy state, people take black for white.
But when their topsy-turvy thinking is destroyed, the acquiescent mind is self-acknowledged.
If you wish to conform with ancient tracks, please consider the ancients:
The Buddha, on the verge of accomplishing the Way, spent ten kalpas beneath the tree of contemplation; 184
Like the tiger which leaves some remains of its prey, and like the charger whose left hind leg has whitened. 185
For the benefit of those with inferior ability, there is a jeweled footrest and brocade robes; 186
For the benefit of those capable of wonder, a wildcat or white ox. 187
Yi used his skill [as an archer], 188 and there was the bowman who pierced the target at one hundred paces. 189
Two arrowpoints meeting head-on, 190 ? how is such great skill attained?
The wooden man begins to sing, and the stone woman rises to dance;
It is not attained in thought or feeling, so why reflect upon it?
A vassal serves his lord, and a child obeys its father;
It is unfilial not to obey, improper not to serve.
Working unobserved, functioning secretly, appearing dull, seemingly stupid ?
If one can simply persist in that, it is called the host’s view of the host.

-117-

The Master said, “In this Dharma-ending age people possess much idle knowledge. If you want to distinguish true from false, there are three types of defilement to be aware of. The first is defiled views. This is said to be not departing from a particular fixed view about the potential for enlightenment and thus falling into a sea of poison. The second is defiled emotions. This is said to be entrapment in preferences and repulsions, thus having one’s perspective become one-sided and rigid. The third is defiled language. This is said to be mastering trivia and losing sight of the essential. The potential for enlightenment is thoroughly obscured. You should understand clearly that a disciple whose understanding is muddled and is going round and round in circles has not done away with these three types of defilements.”

There is also the “G?th? of the Essentials” in three verses. The verse “Rhythm and Song Performed Together” goes:

One metal pin holds a pair of locks;
The paths for the pin found, its function mysteriously simultaneous.
The Precious Seal corresponding to the subtleness of the wind,
Like the visibility of overlapping brocade stitches.

The second verse, “The Path of the Darkling Lock,” goes:

Interacting, darkness amidst light,
One comes to feel that successful endeavor is difficult.
One’s strength exhausted, progress and retreat are forgotten;
The metal locks pull each other like the meshes of a net.

The third verse, “On Not Falling into Distinctions Between Sagely and Common” goes:

Principle and phenomena have no relation to each other;
Reflected light cuts through dark mystery.
Ignoring the wind, with neither skill nor incompetence,
The lightning bolt is impossible to escape.

-118-

The Master was unwell and directed a novice monk to deliver a message to Yiun-chu, saying, “If he asks whether I am well, simply reply that the transmission of Yiun-yen’s way will be interrupted. When you deliver this message, you should stand back. Otherwise, I fear he will hit you.”

The novice monk acknowledged that he understood and went to transmit the message. But well before he had finished speaking, he was given a blow by Yiun-chu, after which he remained silent.

-119-

When the Master was about to enter perfect rest, 191 he addressed the assembly, saying “I’ve had a worthless name in this world. Who will get rid of it for me?”

When none of the assembly replied, a novice monk came forward and said, “Please say what the monk’s Dharma name is.”

The Master said, “My worthless name has been eradicated.”

A monk asked, “Although the monk is unwell, is there actually one who is not sick?”

“There is,” replied the Master.

“Will the one who is not sick treat the monk?”

The Master said, “I am entitled to see him.”

“I wonder how the monk will see him?”

“When I see him, there will be no perception of sickness,” replied the Master.

The Master continued by asking the monk, “After I have left this filthoozing shell, where will we meet?”

The monk didn’t reply.

The Master recited a g?th?:

Disciples as numerous as grains of sand in the River Ganges, not one has gained enlightenment;
They err in seeking it as a path taught by others.
To eliminate form and eradicate its traces,
Make utmost effort, and strive diligently to walk in nothingness.

Then the Master had his head shaved, bathed himself, and put on his robes. He struck the bell and announced his departure to the assembly. Sitting solemnly, he began to pass away. Immediately the large assembly began to wail and lament. This continued for some time without stopping. The Master suddenly opened his eyes and addressed the assembly, saying, “For those who have left home, a mind unattached to things is the true practice. People struggle to live and make much of death. But what’s the use of lamenting?”

Then he ordered a temple official to make arrangements for a “delusion banquet.” However, the assembly’s feeling of bereavement did not go away, so preparations for the banquet were extended over seven days. The Master joined with the assembly in completing the preparations, saying, “You monks have made a great commotion over nothing. When you see me pass away this time, don’t make a noisy fuss.”

Accordingly, he retired to his room, sat correctly, and passed away in the third month of the tenth year of the Hsien-t’ung era (869). He was sixty-three and had spent forty-two years as a monk; his posthumous name was Zen Master Wu-pen. 192 His shrine was called the Stupa of Wisdom-awareness.

-120-

From the end of the Ta-chung era of the T’ang ( 847-859), the Master received and instructed students at Hsin-feng Mountain. 193 After that, his teaching flourished at Dong-Sarn in Kao-an of Yu-chang hsien. 194 He expediently set forth the doctrine of the “Five Ranks” and skillfully instructed people of each of the three root types. 195 He magnificently proclaimed the single sound, 196 extending it to encompass myriad beings. He freely brandished the jewel sword, 197 cutting through dense groves of various false views. He wondrously harmonized the various teachings and widely propagated the Way, cutting off fruitless probings into all manner of things. Moreover, he gained Ts’ao-shan as a disciple. With profound understanding of the ultimate goal, he wondrously intoned this excellent design, a way that integrates lord and vassal and in which exists the mutual interaction of the Real and phenomena. Because of this, Tung-shan’s subtle influence spread beneath heaven. Consequently, masters from every quarter unite in revering him. His lineage is called the Ts’ao-tung Lineage. 198

Notes:

1 The Heart Sutra (Praj??p?ramit? Hr?daya S?tra, T.250-57), an abbreviated Perfection of Wisdom text, is a body of thought central to much of the Mah?y?na tradition. It teaches, in part, the ultimate emptiness of all things, including the dharmas of the earlier Buddhist teachings. Thus, whereas earlier a meditator might have analyzed a particular experience into its components, isolating factors such as the relevant sense faculties and their objects, the Perfection of Wisdom literature instructs the Mah?y?na practitioner to recognize that those components, taken together as the reality of an experience, are in fact empty, and thus to be transcended. However, Dong-Sarn?ingenuously, it appears?reacts against the bald assertion that he has no eyes, etc. In CTL (T.51, 321b) Dong-Sarn’s question does not concern his sense faculties, but the “rootless gun?a.” See Chang, p. 58. Ch’en, the Chinese for gun?a, also means dust and, by extention, defilement. See note 58. Except for a slight difference in wording, the TTC is the same as the present text.

2 Ng-Sid Mountain is located in Chu-chi hsien, Chekiang. Zen Master Mo (747-818), a member of the second generation of Mar-Tzoe’s line, made this his center, becoming known as Ling-mo of Ng-Sid. TTC15, CTL7.

3 Song Mountain, which is in northern Teng-feng hsien, Honan, is the central peak of China’s “Five Peaks” and the location of the Shao-lin Temple with its ordination platform.

4 According to the Sarv?stiv?din Vinaya (Ssu fen lu), T22, 567-1015, there are 250 precepts for a monk and 348 for a nun, though the latter number is conventionally quoted as 500.

5 P’u-Yiuan of Narm-Tsiun (748-834) began his study of Buddhism at the age of ten and was formally ordained on Mt. Sung in Honan at the age of thirty. His studies included the teaching of the Fa Hsiang, Disciplinary (Lu, Vinaya), Huayen (Avatam?saka) and San Lun (M?dhyamika) schools. In the end, he took Matsu Tao-i as his teacher and is regarded as one of that master’s foremost disciples. After receiving Mar-Tzoe’s approval, he set out for Narm-Tsiun Mountain (in modern Anhwei), were he spent thirty years living alone in a thatched hut. When he finally began to teach, he attracted several hundred students. TTC16, CTL8 (translated in Chang, 1971, pp. 153-63).

6 Mar-Tzoe Tao-I (709-788) was in the third generation of Liu-tsu Hui-neng’s line. He was born in Szechwan and is traditionally said to have been the major influence on the Zen of the Hung-chou region of China. Mar-Tzoe is regarded as having most fully developed that strain of Hui-neng’s thought that emphasized the discovery of self-nature in the midst of daily activity. Also, the blows and shouts generally associated with Lin-chi can be traced to Mar-Tzoe. CTL 6 (translated in Chang, 1971, pp. 148-52).

7 A memorial banquet is a ceremony that normally lasts two days and finishes with a vegetarian feast on the day of death of the person being honored. Mar-Tzoe died on the fourth day of the second lunar month. Dong-Sarn apparently arrived on the first day of this particular ceremony.

8 There is a precedent for the belief that Buddhist masters attend their own memorial banquets. For example, in the first fascicle of the Fa-Yiun chih-lueh (A Concise Record on the Fate ofthe Law), translated by Jan Yiun-hua ( 1966, p. 18), there is a description of a memorial banquet for Chih-i (see TSL33, note 3) held in 605. Though the number of monks in attendance was supposed to be exacty 1,000, their number increased by one during the course of the meal. The additional monk was believed to be Chih-i.

9 “Companion” is a common image in Zen texts for the physical (as opposed to the nonphysical) body. The term also denotes an attendant or someone to be relied on. In this case, the body (r?pa in traditional Buddhist terms) would be the attendant of mind (n?ma). Another example of this usage can be found in the Record of Lin-chi: Followers of the Way, don’t acknowledge your illusory companion; sooner or later it will return to impermanence. T.57, 498c; Sasaki, 1975, p. 15.

10 To be “cut and polished” is to be developed or perfected through teaching or discipline. An example of this usage of the image appears in the Confucian Analects 1:15.

11 Ling-yu of Gwai-Sarn (771-853), in the third generation of Mar-Tzoe’s line, was the patriarch of the Kuei-yang House, the earliest of the “Five Houses of Zen.” He left home to become amonk at the age of fifteen and began by studying the sutras and monastic discipline (Vinaya). He eventually found his way to Pai-chang’s center, where he became the leading disciple. In his book, the Kueishan Ching Tse, he discusses what he perceives to be the general degeneration of Buddhism in his time and proposes the means for its revival. Kuei Mountain was located in T’an-chou, modern Ch’ang-sha in Hunan. CTL 9 (translated in Chang, 1971, pp. 200-208).

12 Tzong of Narm-Yerng is Hui-chung (d.775), a disciple of Liu-tsu Hui-neng. According to his biography, until he was sixteen, he never spoke, nor did he leave the immediate vicinity of his house. However, when he saw a Zen monk passing his house one day, he began speaking and requested ordination. As a result, the monk directed him to Hui-neng. He is said to have lived forty years on Po-yai Mountain in Nan-yang, modern Honan, without leaving. However, by 761 his fame had spread, and he was summoned to the capital, where he received the title National Teacher (kuo-shih). TTC3, CTL27.

13 The question of whether nonsentient beings possess Buddha Nature and thus, by extension, are capable of expressing Dharma?a major controversy in early T’ang China?grew out of differing interpretations of the Nirv?na S?tra, T.374, particularly the line, “All beings, without exception, possess Buddha Nature.” Hui-chung was a prominent spokesman for the belief that nonsentient beings are included under “all beings.” On one occasion he cited the Avatam?saka S?tra, “The Buddha’s body completely fills the Dharma Realm and is manifest to all beings.” ( TTC3, 63a) Often cited in opposition to this is the following passage from the Nirv?na S?tra: “Such nonsentient things as walls, tile, and stones lack Buddha Nature. All else can be said to have Buddha Nature.” (T.12, 581a) Huichung could not have been unaware of this passage when he used wall and tile rubble as examples of the mind of the ancient Buddhas.

14 “Ancient buddha” is a term commonly used in Zen literature to refer to distinguished former masters, e.g., Yiuan-wu Fuo-kuo’s description of the Sixth Patriarch: The Reverend Tsoe-Kai was truly an ancient buddha, T.48, 807b.

15 Chuang Tze, when asked in the “Chih pei yu” chapter whether the Tao was found among the lowly, replied that the Tao “exists in the crickets,…in the grasses,…in tiles and bricks,…and in shit and piss.”

16 In the Chinese the object of “no part” is left unstated. Yanagida translates it, In that case, people would be completely without hope ( 1974, p. 294), and has suggested that “salvation” or “nirvana” might be the object. It is also possible that the Dharma taught by nonsentient beings is the object here?which, in the end, is simply another way of saying “salvation.”

17 Avatam?saka S?tra, T.9, 611a. The “three times” are past, present, and future, i.e., always.

18 The fly wisk usually consisted of the tail hair of some animal attached to a handle. According to tradition, the Buddha had approved of its use by the monks as a means of brushing off bothersome insects without killing them. However, because there was a tendency to use rare and expensive materials to construct the wisk, the Buddha stipulated that only certain ordinary materials be used: felt, hemp, finely torn cloth, tattered items, or tree twigs. Paintings of Buddhist monks indicate that in China this stipulation was ignored. In Zen it was a symbol of authority, generally held, when teaching, as an indication that the teaching was the correct Dharma.

19 Yau-Yiun of Lai-Ling is in the northwest part of Ch’ang-sha in modern Hunan.

20 T’an-sheng of Yiun-yen (780-841), although in the third generation of the Shih-to’u line, began his career as a monk together with Gwai-Sarn under Paich’ang in the Mar-Tzoe line. He remained with Pai-ch’ang for over twenty years before going to Yao-shan, a disciple of Shih-t’ou. Yiun-yen Mountain is in T’anchou, modern Ch’ang-sha, Hunan. TTC6, CTI, 14.

21 “To push aside the grass and gaze into the wind” is a play on a line from the Confucian Analects suggesting the ability to distinguish the superior man from ordinary people. “The superior man’s deportment is like the wind; ordinary people’s is like grass. When the wind blows over it, the grass bends.” Lun-Yiu 12: 19.

22 “This old monk” is a self-deprecating term often used by monks to refer to themselves.

23 The sentence quoted from the Amit?bha S?tra, T. 12, 378a, is part of Shakyamuni’s description of the Pure Land of Ultimate Bliss, the Western Paradise. Thus, since Yiun-yen could not have been unaware of this fact, it must be assumed that he has tacitly equated this world with the Pure Land.

24 In place of “habits,” TTC6, 101b has “karma.”

25 A similar exchange occurred between the Sixth Patriarch, Hui-neng, and his disciple Hsing-szu (d.740):

Hsing-szu asked, “What must be done to avoid falling into [the practice of] stages?”

Hui-neng responded, “What have you been doing?”

Hsing-szu said, “I have not concerned myself with the Four Noble Truths.”

“What stages have you fallen into?” asked Hui-neng.

Hsing-szu said, “What stages exist if there is no concern with the Noble Truths?” ( CTL5)

Dong-Sarn, whose lineage is traced back to Hui-neng through Hsing-ssu, appears indirectly to acknowledge the place he will assume in that lineage through his choice of words in this case. The Four Noble Truths, part of the earliest strata of Buddhist teaching, assert that there is suffering, its cause, its cessation, and a path leading to its cessation. Implicit in such a teaching is a belief in the existence of defilements or habits to be eradicated and of a gradual process or stages by which that eradication is achieved.

26 The Chinese term for “joyful” translates the Sanskrit, pramudit?, the name of the first of ten levels (bh?mi) attained by a bodhisattva in his ripening to perfect enlightenment. Though he attains sainthood at this level, certain defilements remain.

27 “Chamberlain” was a title used during various dynasties, including the T’ang, for the court official who waited on the Emperor and served as an intermediary between him and the court nobility.

28 In TTC 5, p. 97b, this line reads, While Yiun-yen was reading the sutras.

29 Instead of “just before leaving,” TTC 2, 99b-100a, reads “just before the Master’s (i.e., Yiun-yen’s) death.”

30 Traditionally, a disciple was allowed to draw his master’s portrait only when the master acknowledged that the disciple had received the transmission of his Dharma.

31 “Just this person” is a variant of “just this man of Han.” The latter form is used in the earlier TTC version of the same incident ( TTC 4, 100a). According to medieval Chinese legal custom this is the phrase by which a criminal formally confessed his guilt in court. Comparison with other occurrences of the phrase in Zen works (see TTC 8, 153b, and TTC 10,202a) suggests that it expresses a thoroughgoing assumption of responsibility for one’s being.

32 “Having assumed the burden” was another expression used when a criminal acknowledged his crime and personally accepted responsibility for it.

33 “Knowing reality” was used in a similar sense by Narm-Tsiun (see note 5). “Patriarchs and Buddhas do not know reality; mountain cats and wild buffalo know reality.” TTC 16, p.297a.

34 See TSL2.

35 The prior is the administrative head of a Zen monastary.

36 Shih-shih, “Stone Caverns”, is both the name of a monk and the name of a place. This group of caves, located in Yau-Yiun, modern Hunan, has long been popular as a place for ascetic practices, and it was in these caves that Dong-Sarn first met his teacher, Yiun-yen ( TSL3). Because it was common for Zen monks to be referred to by the name of the place they became associated with, there was probably more than one monk named Shih-shih. The Shih-shih in this anecdote was probably the Shih-shih Shan-Tao who is mentioned in the Record of Lin-chi (Sasaki, 1975, p.4). According to accounts of him in TTC5 and CTL14, he was a mid-ninth-century monk who, at the end of the great Buddhist purge of 845, did not reassume his robes, but took up residence in the Stone Caverns of Yuhsien, living as an ascetic. As a form of practice, he operated a foot-driven millstone. See Blue Cliff Record, case 34.

37 A possible allusion to the Sixth Partiarch’s question to Nan-Yiueh (677744) What is it that has come just so? CTL5.

38 Boe-Yiun of Lu-tsu Mountain in Ch’ih-chou (Anhwei). Mar-Tzoe’s disciple (no dates). TTC14, CTL7.

39 “Wordless speaking” bears resemblance to Lao-tzu’s “wordless teaching.” Tao te ching 2 and 40.

40 “There is no mouth” appears to be a reference to the Perfection of Wisdom doctrine of the emptiness of all things, an issue already raised in TSL1, and one that will be raised again in TSL34.

41 Nan-Yiuan is Tao-ming of Yuan-chou (Kiangsi), a disciple of Mar-Tzoe. TTC 14, CTL6.

42 “Between mind and mind there is no gap” bears resemblance to Lin-chi’s “mind and mind do not differ.” (T.47, 499c) This has also been translated, Your minds and Mind do not differ (Sasaki, 1975, p. 20). However, the Chinese hsin hsin does not make it explicit that two varieties of mind are what is intended here. Hsin, in addition to meaning “heart,” is used to translate numerous Sanskirt terms having to do with mental phenomena, e.g., citta, “thought,” caitta, “mental conditions (of thought),” manas, “mind.” Thus the sentence might also read, “Between thoughts there is no gap.”

43 Ching-chao is the environs of the imperial capital, i.e., Ch’ang-an. Hsingp’ing of Ching-chao is included among Mar-Tzoe’s disciples in CTL8. The account there and in TTC20 is the same as the one presented here; there is no additional information on him.

44 See TSL3, note 14.

45 A “wooden man” is a puppet, one of the analogies used in the Perfection of Wisdom sutras for a bodhisattva in possession of the Perfection of Wisdom. For example, in Edward Conze’s on of the Perfection of Wisdom Sutra in Eight Thousand Lines the following passage occurs: “An expert mason, or mason’s apprentice, might make of wood an automatic man or woman, a puppet which could be moved by pulling the strings. Whatever action it were made to perform, that action it would perform. And yet that wooden machine would have no discriminations. Because it is so constituted that it lacks all discrimination. Just so a Bodhisattva performs the work for the sake of which he develops the perfection of wisdom, but the perfection of wisdom remains without discrimination. Because that perfection of wisdom is so constituted that it lacks all discriminations.” ( Ast?as?hasrik? Praj??p?ramit? S?tra, Mitra ed., p. 443; Conze, p. 258). This image appears again at the end of the “G?th? of the Five Ranks.” TSL116.

46 The Dharma-body (Skt., dharmakaya) is the absolute body of Buddhahood, free of all distinguishing features. The Reward-body (Skt., sam?bhogak?ya), is the glorified body of Buddhahood, visible only to bodhisattvas. These two bodies are part of the traditional three bodies of the Buddha (Skt., trik?ya); the third body is the Apparition-body (Skt., nirm?nak?ya), the body that appears in the phenomenal world, visible to all.

47 Uncle Mi is Seng-mi of Shen-shan, Dong-Sarn’s fellow disciple under Yiunyen, thus called “Uncle” by Dong-Sarn’s disciples. Shen Mountain is in T’an-chou ( Hunan). TTC6, CTL15.

48 There is no additional information on this monk. The same account appears in CTL14 with the name Pai-yen Ming-che of Ngo-chou. The account is included among those of Yao-shan’s (751-834) disciples.

49 An intendant is an official sent from the central government to oversee local administrations.

50 The Chinese term for “circuit tour” is, literally, “to go out and come in,” a conventional term for inspection tours of the provinces by an official of the central government, i.e., going out to observe the provinces and re-entering the capital to attend the Emperor at his court.

51 A “turning phrase” is a verbal response that demonstrates a turning of attention toward the reality of things or central truths. Such phrases were believed to reveal a person’s level of insight and were a major component in much of Zen literature.

52 Presumably what is being referred to is the summer retreat, lasting from the fifteenth day of the fourth lunar month until the fifteenth of the seventh month. Thus, if Dong-Sarn and Shen-shan are to pass the retreat with Pai-yen, additional rice will have to be laid in.

53 Lung-shan (Dragon Mountain), also known as Yin-shan (Hidden Moutain, see TTC20), is included among Mar-Tzoe’s disciples in CTL8. The mountain is located in T’an-chou. In both the CTL and TTC accounts of this encounter Uncle Mi, (Shen-shan) is not mentioned as accompanying Dong-Sarn. In addition, Dong-Sarn is said to be lost. Thus it would appear that he stumbled on Lung-shan by accident.

54 CTL8 reads, “Where were you headed…”

55. Clay oxen were traditional ritual objects used to mark the beginning of spring, which, according to the Chinese lunar calendar, coincides with the beginning of the new year.

56. The Third Patriarch of Zen was the sixth-century master Seng-ts’an. Biographical information is very sketchy, the earliest extant account appearing in the Ch’uan Fard-Boe-Gey (Pelliot 3559), an early eighth-century work. The Inscription on Believing in Mind (Hsin hsin ming) is attributed to Seng-ts’an and can be found in CTL 30 ( Suzuki, pp. 76-82).

57. In a note included with this anecdote in the WCYL, Fa-yen (885958) offers a proxy answer for the official: “In that case, I won’t make a commentary.”

58. The Chinese term for dirty is ch’en, which commonly means dust or dirt, with implications of worldly or vulgar. Both Param?rtha ( 499-569) and Hsuantsang ( 600-664), in their translations of the Abhidharmako?a ??stra, use ch’en for, among other Sanskrit terms, rajas, “fine matter,” one of the categories of r?pa-dharma (“material elements”). This Sanskrit term is rich in denotations important both for the Ko?a and for the present case. It is used for dust or dirt and, by association, for impurity. Related to the idea of impurity are such further denotations as menstrual discharge, darkening quality, passion, and emotion. The Ko?a describes it as matter constantly in motion, unquantifiable, and as something that adheres and contaminates. It is frequently compared to the kle?as, defilements or obstructions to enlightenment. Ch’en is also used by Par?martha in Ko?a 1, as a translation for vi?aya (“sphere”), namely, the sources of stimulation for the sense organs; e.g., the sphere of sounds acts as stimulation for the ear. The implication here is that such stimulation is impure and polluting. Thus, while on one level the old woman is simply asking about any dirt that might be contaminating her water, on another level the question might be directed at the problem of spiritual impurity and pollution. This echoes Hui-neng’s dispute with Shen-hsiu in The Platform Scripture, ch. 1, concerning the necessity of wiping dust from a mirror (Yampolsky, pp. 130-32). The question here is made particularly poignant in light of the traditional Buddhist doctrine of the innate impurity of women, a state that prevents them, inter alia, from becoming buddhas.

59. Leh-t’an was in Nan-chang hsien of Hung-chou, modern Kiangsi. “Head monk” (shou-tso), literally translates as “chief seat.” Ch’u’s identity is unknown.

60. “Path” here is the Chinese Tao, which can be understood in one of two ways. It can be read as the pre-Buddhist notion of the Way, e.g., the source of everything (as it sometimes appears in the Tao Te Ching) or the way of something such as Heaven, Nature, or man (as it occurs in both the Tao Te Ching and the Analects of Confucius). Or it can be read as a translation of the technical term for the Buddhist Path (Skt., m?rga). Given the latter reading, one can understand this passage as praising the path and its fruit, Buddhahood, or simply as variations on a single theme, Buddhism.

61. “When you’ve gotten the meaning, forget the words” is a quotation from the “External Things” (Wai wu) chapter of the Chuang-tzu (Watson, p. 302).

62. Appended to this case in the WCYL is the following variant:

Another text says that when the Master was crossing a river with Shen-shan he said, “You mustn’t make a wrong step.”

“You won’t get across if you take a wrong step,” said Shen-shan.

“How does one not take a wrong step?” asked the Master.

“By crossing the river together with you,” replied Shen-shan.”

63. The Chinese for “friend” here is literally “wisdom” (chih-shih) or, in this case, “knower,” a common term of address in Zen literature. In Buddhist texts it is used to translate the Sanskrit mitra, “friend,” with the possible connotation of kaly?n?amitra, “good friend,” a Buddhist term for a spiritual guide or teacher.

64. In Chinese the structure of Shen-shan’s preceding response, “Who teaches about mind and nature?” allows it to be read either as a question or as a simple noun phrase, “the who that teaches about mind and nature.” Thus Dong-Sarn’s rejoinder, “While dead is living” ? though a complete sentence in Chinese, since the subject need not be explicitly stated ? is also potentially the grammatical completion of the previous response by Shen-shan understood as a noun phrase.

65. I-ts’un of Hsueh-feng ( 822-908) was from Fu-chou (Fukien). He first expressed a desire to become a monk at the age of nine but was prevented from doing so by his parents until he was twelve. Much of his early life was spent visiting various masters throughout China. The present set of encounters apparently occurred during one such pilgrimage, which he made in the company of Yen-t’ou ( TSL61) and Ch’in-shan ( TSL60, 61). He didn’t meet his master, Te-shan (note 73), until the age of forty, and he is said not to have gained enlightenment until the age of forty-five. At fifty he established his own temple on “Snowy Peak” (Hsueh-feng) and is said to have attracted several hundred disciples. He was in the fifth generation of the Shih-t’ou line. TTC7, CTL16.

66. Chih-i ( 538-598) is traditionally regarded as the fourth patriarch of T’ient’ai Buddhism and founder of Kuo-ch’ing Temple on Mt.T’ien-t’ai in central Chekiang. It would have been physically impossible for Hsueh-feng to have met him.

67. The “iron cudgle” is probably the one associated with Yama, ruler of the hells.

68. Cf. Lin-chi, “Students come from all quarters. As soon as the host and guest have met, the guest offers a phrase to determine the worthiness of the host as a teacher”. T. 48, 500a; Sasaki, p. 23.

69. The fan would thus read “unbuddha(like).” Pu is commonly a negative prefix for verbs and thus imparts a verbal quality to the nouns it precedes.

70. The fan would now read either “not Buddha” or, possibly, “not unbuddhalike.” Fei is commonly a negative prefix for nouns.

71. Neither TTC nor CTL provides any record of Hsfieh-feng being together with Dong-Sarn at Yiun-yen’s. Most likely, either the persona have been confused or this is an anachronistic embellishment.

72. According to the monastic regulations attributed to Pai-chang in the Cb’an-Yiuan ch’ing-kuei, ch. 10, the Rice Cook is one of the ten kitchen positions under the Chief Cook. The preparation of vegetables is delegated to another cook, and so on.

73. Hsuan-chien of Te-shan ( 782?-865) was a member of the fourth generation in Shih-t’ou’s line. His family name was Chou, and because of his frequent lectures on the Diamond Sutra, he became known as “Diamond Chou.” As a Zen master, he is known for his use of the staff to strike students. Te Mountain is located in T’an-chou ( Hunan). ( TTC5, CTL15) The present anecdote also appears in the commentary to The Blue Cliff Record, case 5.

74. Flying Monkey Peaks are in the mountains between Kiangsi and Fukien. Hsueh-feng was originally from Fukien.

75. It was through Tao-ying of Yiun-chu ( 835?-902) that Tung-shan’s tradition continued the longest, at least into the seventeenth century. Tao-ying is literally “one who makes his heart the Way.” Yiun-chu (Cloud Rest) Mountain was located in Hung-chou. TTC8, CTL17.

76. Wu-hsueh of Ts’ui-wei Temple made his center on Chung-nan Mountain in the vicinity of Ch’ang-an (Shansi) and was a disciple of Tan-hsia T’ien-jan ( 738824) in Shih-t’ou’s line. TTC5, CTL14.

77. An arhat is the accomplished saint of the pre-Mah?y?na Buddhist traditions. An arhat has understood what is necessary for his own personal salvation and, having accomplished what was necessary, will enter final nirvana at death. The apparent issue here is the same as that raised in TSL2 and 11, i.e., whether a deceased saint is cognizant of honors offered him by the living. The exchange between the monk and Ts’ui-wei recounted here also appears in the section on Ts’ui-wei in CTL14. Directly preceding it is the folowing exchange:

Because the Master (Ts’ui-wei) was performing a memorial for the arhats, a monk said, “Tan-hsia (Ts’ui-wei’s master) burned a wooden Buddha, so why do you, Wor-Serng, perform a memorial for the arhats?”

The Master replied, ‘Burned, yet not burned; honored, yet indifferent to being honored.”

78. Yiuan-chih of Tao-wu Mountain ( 769-835) was the brother of Dong-Sarn’s master, Yiun-yen, and became Dong-Sarn’s teacher following Yiun-yen’s death. Both brothers were disciples of Yao-shan. Tao-wu Mountain is in T’an-chou ( TTC5, CTL14). In the versions of this anecdote contained in TTC8 and CTL 17, Dong-Sarn does not claim to have given his answer to Tao-wu, but to Yiun-yen.

79. The question “Why did the Patriarch come from the West?” is one of the most common in the discourse records. The patriarch who came from the West was the First Zen Patriarch in China, Bodhidharma (d.529). The traditional, though highly legendary, account of Bodhidharma’s life is found in The Biographies of Eminent Monks (Hsu kao-seng chuan, T.2060), compiled around 655. There, Bodhidharma is described as being the third son in a south Indian Brahmin family. Around the beginning of the sixth century he is said to have traveled by sea to south China in order to transmit the Buddha’s teaching.

80. “A handful of thatch” suggests a small village temple or hut, which Yiunchu might later occupy as master.

81. “The great monk Ssu” is Hui-ssu of Nan-Yiueh ( 515-577), Chih-i’s teacher and an advocate of the teachings of the Lotus Sutra. Dong-Sarn’s question concerns a legend prevalent in both China and Japan, according to which Hui-ssu was reborn in Japan (Wo) as the great Buddhist ruler, Prince Shotoku ( 574-622).

82. The Second Patriarch was Bodhidharma’s successor, Hui-k’o ( 487-593). See TTC2, CTL3. The issue raised here by Dong-Sarn is an incident referred to in TTC2. Hui-k’o went to Yeh-chou where he was arrested and executed for interfering with a sermon by Dharma Master Pien-ho. This was interpreted as expiation of karma incurred in a previous life. Though the nature of Hui-k’ o’s karma-producing act is not mentioned, it apparently bears similarity to Yiun-chu’s injuring the earthworm. Yeh-chou was in eastern Wei.

83. According to the Nirva?a S?tra (T.347), ch. 19, ” An icchantika is one who does not believe in the existence of causes and conditions, is devoid of shame, does not believe in karmic reward, does not see that this world is connected to the future, is not drawn to good friends, and does not accord with the Buddha’s teachings and rules.” Also, in ch. 5, “An icchantika has cut off all his good roots.”

84. The five heinous sins are to kill one’s father, to kill one’s mother, to kill an arhat, to disrupt the monastic community, and to draw the Buddha’s blood. The first two are interpreted as being ungrateful for the nurturance and care given by one’s parents; the following three are regarded as despising the field of merit.

85. The Maitreya S?tra (T.454),translated by Kum?raj?va (344-413), concerns the Buddha yet to come, Maitreya. He is said to be dwelling in the Heavenly Palace in Tu?ita Heaven, the fourth of the six heavens in the Realm of Desire. He will reside there for a total of 5,670,000,000 years before descending as a savior.

86. It is not clear what exchange Dong-Sarn is referring to here, but it appears to be one in which Dong-Sarn demonstrates his worthiness as Yiun-yen’s heir. The importance of that event is confirmed by the shaking of the brazier. Likewise, Dong-Sarn’s transmission to Yiun-chu is confirmed by the shaking of his meditation seat.

87. The location of San-feng (Three Peaks) Mountain is uncertain, but it would seem to be in the vicinity of Dong-Sarn’s center, since Yiun-chu was apparently close enough to return for his meals.

88. “Heavenly spirits” (t’ien shen) are distinguished in Chinese tradition from “ghosts of the earth” (ti ch’i). In the cosmology inherited from India, the heavenly spirits are the gods ruled by Indra who dwells in the heavens of the Realm of Desire.

89. Variations of this admonition appear several times elsewhere in Zen literature. Perhaps the best known instance is in the Sung edition of the Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch, T.2008, where Hui-neng addresses Shang-tso Taoming, “Don’t think of good. Don’t think of evil. Just in this moment, what is your original face?” See Wang Mou-lam, p.21. This incident is also recorded in case 23 of the Gateless Gate (Wu men kuan). However, it is not recorded in the earlier Tun-huang edition (T’ang) of the Platform Sutra, T.2007. One of the earliest extant examples of the admonition seems to be the one in Hui-neng’s biography in TTC2 ( 952 a.d.), where it is part of a sermon. “If you wish to know the mind essence, simply don’t think about any good or evil, and therby gain entry to Mind.” In CTL8, Narm-Tsiun says: “Not thinking of good, not thinking of evil, when no thought arises, then my original face appears.” The present anecdote is not recorded in the Dong-Sarn section of CTL15.

90. K’uang-jen of Shu-shan (837-909) established his temple on Mt. Shu, which is located in Fu-chou. TTC8, CTL17.

91. The “Matter,” also sometimes the “Great Matter,” refers to the essential, ineffable truth of Buddhism. In the artter on “Skillful Means” (fang pien) in the Lotus Sutra, the term appears as “the one Great Causal Matter”: “This Law [which the buddhas expound] cannot be understood by powers of thought or discrimination. Only the buddhas can discern it. Why? Because the various buddhas, the world honored ones, only on account of the one Great Causal Matter, appear in the world. S?riputra, why do I say, the various buddhas, the world honored ones, only on account of the one Great Causal Matter, appear in the world? The various buddhas, the world honored ones, appear in the world because they want to induce all living beings to open Buddha-wisdom and to cause them to attain purity.” (T.262, 7a; Kato, p.59) Hui-neng quotes from this passage while explaining the Lotus Sutra as teaching the “one-vehicle Dharma”. In discussing this passage he says, “To discard false views, this is the one Great Causal Matter.” (T.48, 342c; Yampolsky, p.166) Lin-chi also refers to the “Great Matter” in the following passage: “If I were to demonstrate the Great Matter in strict keeping with the the teaching of the Patriarch School, I simply couldn’t open my mouth, and there wouldn’t be any place for you to find footing.” T.47, 469b; Sasaki, p. 1.

92. “The sear old tree that produces blossoms” is a traditional Chinese literary image, e.g., “Smoke rising over cold ashes; flowers blooming on an already sear old tree” and “The brillance of his rhetoric is capable of making an emptied stream flow again, and a sear old tree put forth blossoms.”

93. According to the Abhidharmako?a ŋ?stra, ch. 12, the Kalpa of Emptiness is one of four time periods that comprise one Great Kalpa (mah?kalpa), the length of time a world-system exists from creation total destruction. Each of the four kalpas is subdivided into twenty “small kalpas” (antara kalpa). The four kalpas are cyclic, occurring in the following order: (1) the Kalpa of Evolution (vivarta), (2) the Kalpa of Existing (vivarta-sth?yin), (3) the Kalpa of Dissolution (sam?varta), (4) the Kalpa of Emptiness (sam?varta-sth?myin). After the Kalpa of Emptiness there is another Kalpa of Evolution, and so on. During the Kalpa of Emptiness there is the total extinction of everything below the Fourth Dhy?na Heaven in the Form Realm.

94. Shih-ch’ien of Ch’ing-lin (d.904?), also known as “Dong-Sarn the Latter,” was one of Dong-Sarn’s eight principle disciples. After living in seclusion for many years, he recalled Dong-Sarn’s parting words to him, “You should benefit the masses of untaught. Why fix on trivial matters?” and left his retreat. He then went to Sui-chou and was invited to dwell in a place called “Green Wood” (ch’ing-lin). Hence he came to be known as the “Wor-Serng of the Green Wood.” TTC8, CTL17.

95. Wu-ling is a district west of Tung-t’ing Lake in Hunan Province, modern Ch’ang-te. Te-shan was active in this district at the time Ch’ing-lin might have been there. Thus, the following question may refer to the teaching of Te-shan.

96. The “adamantine disk” ? one of the seven treasures bestowed by ŋakra on a cakravartin (wheel-turning king) at his ascension to power ? is a sunlike object, that rises in the East and emits light. It is said to aid such a king in ruling. See Abhidharmako?a ŋ?stra, Ch. 11, and the Sutra of Miscellaneous Similies ( Tsa piyu ching, T.4, 530c).

97. Ch’ing-lin is using the adamantine disk, which leaves no shadow, as an image for himself.

98. Lung-ya is the name of a mountain in Hunan just south of Tung-t’ing Lake. Chu-tun of Lung-ya (835-923) is associated with Miao-chi Monastery, which was located on this mountain. He appears in the Record of-Lin-chi (T.47, 505b; Sasaki, p.48) where he questions Lin-chi and visits Ts’ui-wei. Also see TTC8, and Blue Cliff Record, case 20.

99. See note 73.

100. The “Mo-yeh sword” was a legendary weapon belonging to King Ho-lu of Wu ( 515-496 b.c.).

101. “Huo” is the sound of a boat being pulled through the water. Here, it is apparently intended to be the sound of the sword cutting Te-shan’s neck.

102. Lung-ya asks the same question of both Ts’ui-wei and Lin-chi. (See the Record of Lin-chi, T.47, 505b; Sasaki, p. 48.) In these two encounters Lung-ya is given a blow with a stick. Dong-Sarn’s response is more benign. Cf. TSL42.

103. Tung Creek is presumably a creek in the vicinity of Tung Mountain, though the Shui Ching records the existence of a creek by this name in Hunan, so called for its origin in the Great Western Cave (ta hsi tung).

104. Hsiu-ching of Hua-yen Temple is included among Tung-shan’s disciples. He made his center at the Hua-yen Temple in Ch’ang-an, the imperial capital, and is recorded as having had over three hundred disciples. The Emperor bestowed on him the name “Great Master Precious Wisdom.” TTC8, CTL17.

105. The word li, translated here as “proper,” carries with it much more than such a simple rendering can convey. Derived from a term that described the cutting of jade along its veins, it came to mean the ability to govern or regulate based on an understanding of the fundamental arrangement of things. Hence, in the philosophical texts such as the Mencius, it has the sense of natural principle or law. In the present case it could describe a way of living without obstructions in tune with natural principles.

106. “If we met on a narrow path. . .” is a standard predicament in Zen anecdotes, acting as a metaphor for an unavoidable and impossible situation, the path being so narrow as not to allow two people to pass safely. Retreat is apparently not considered a viable alternative.

107. Hua-yen eventually went north to Ch’ang-an, where he was said to have had three hundred followers. This prediction probably reflected the historical fact of the greater wealth and higher standard of living of the South at this time and is, therefore, not a comment on Hua-yen’s ability to attract followers.

108 Wen-sui of Ch’in-shan was born in Fu-chou (Fukien) and took his vows under Huan-chung of Ta-tz’u Mountain in Hang-chou. He accompanied Yent’ou (see TSL61) and Hsueh-feng⊥ (see TSL33) on a pilgrimage. Although these two received Te-shan’s seal, Wen-sui did not, and he continued on to Tungshan’s, where he received the latter’s seal. At the age of twenty-seven he established his own center on Ch’in Mountain in Li-chou ( Hunan). TTC8, CTL17.

109 Ta-tz’u is a mountain in Hang-chou (Chekiang) on which there is also a temple of that name. Huan-chung ( 780-861) was the master of this temple. Born in Ho-tung P’u-pan ( P’u-chou, Shansi), he began as a student of the Vinaya (The Book of Discipline) but later met Pai-chang and recognized him as his master. This places him in the Mar-Tzoe line. Defrocked in 844 during the suppression of Buddhism, he reassumed his robes following the death of Emperor Wu Tsung in 847. ( TTC17, CTL9) Alhough Ch’in-shan’s response is interpreted to mean that he came from the mountain, it is equally possible to read the Chinese to mean that he came from the temple or from Huan-chung.

110 In the Diamond Sutra the Buddha says, “Those who see me by my form …are not able to see the Tath?gata.” (T.8, 752a; Conze, 1958, p.63)

111 Ch’uan-hou of Yen-t’ou ( 828-887) was born in Ch’uan-chou (Hopei). He took his vows at Hsi-ming Temple, the main temple of the lineage concentrating on the Buddhist Discipline (Four-part Vinaya; Ssu-fen lu). He later participated in a pilgrimage with Hsueh-feng and Ch’in-shan, eventually meeting Teshan and, along with Hsueh-feng, inheriting his lineage. During the persecutions that began in 845, he is said to have worked as a ferryman. He was apparently slashed to death by bandits while seated in meditation. TTC7, CTL16.

112 Sam?dhi is etymologically related to the Greek “synthesis,” here denoting a progressive concentration of mind. It was brought about by focusing on an external object, followed by a process of introversion that ultimately terminated in a complete cessation of sensory perception and consciousness. This was the traditional process of meditation described at various points throughout the Abhidharmako?a.Sam?dhi was generally criticized by Zen masters as a misguided H?nay?na practice.

113 T’ung Chueh-t’ou of Pei-Yiuan is included among Tung-shan’s disciples in CTL17.

114 “Host” and “guest” are popular shibboleths found throughout Zen texts. “Host” often occurs juxtaposed to “guest” and on one level suggests the Zen notion of one’s original or essential nature. “Guest,” in contrast, suggests the conventional, everyday self as seen, for example, from society’s perspective. See TSL105.

115 “Secondary views” are the relativistic views one generally adheres to in one’s ordinary activities, as opposed to “the primary view,” things seen in their original or absolute nature. See Li-tai Fard-Boe-Gey25 and 28.

116 See TSL2.

117 According to CTL17, T’ung holds this exchange not with Dong-Sarn, but with Shan-hui of Chia-shan ( 805-; 881). The incident is not recorded in the TTC.

118 T’ung is presumably on his way to Fu-chou, the route passing through Flying Monkey Peaks. See TSL39.

119 There is no information on Tao-ch’uan other than that he was in Tungshan’s second generation. CTL17.

120 “Darkling” (hsuan) is an important term in the Lao Tzu, ch. 1, where it is used to characterize “the named and the nameless,” “being and nonbeing,” i.e., something prior to dualities. In Buddhist texts it is frequently used to characterize the Path.

121 The identity of Head Monk T’ai is uncertain, but he is possibly Hsuant’ai of Nan-Yiueh. TTC9.

122 Yu, about whom little is known, is included in CTL17 among numerous other disciples of Dong-Sarn. He is listed there as Yu-hsi Tao-yu of T’ai-chou.

123 This is the only known record of Shang-tso Lang.

124 Chu-Yiu of O-chou was a disciple of Narm-Tsiun ( 748-835) and a member of Mar-Tzoe’s third generation. “Chu-Yiu” is the name of a mountain on which the chu-Yiu, or oleaster tree, grows.

125 ?raman?a is a Sanskrit term which literally means “one who exerts himself.” In India the term referred to those who, having rejected the authority of received scripture (the Vedas), sought to find explanations of the universe and life through their own investigations and reasoning. Most were wanderers who lived by begging. Such seekers first began to appear in India around the 6th or 7th century B.C., and the Buddha himself seems to have been a part of this movement. The term comes to be a general Buddhist designation for one who has renounced home life to practice the Buddhist Way, i.e. a monk or Wor-Serng.

126 This approach to practice ? that, while training, one should have no consciousness of the process ? is found in the Large Sutra on Perfect Wisdom: “As by the Lord all dharmas have been pointed out as mere concepts, just so should the Bodhisattva, the great being, having known all dharmas as mere concepts, train in perfect wisdom. And why? Because there he does not review the form in which he trains. When he trains thus, the Bodhisattva, the great being, trains in the perfection of giving. And why? Because he does not review the perfection of giving in which he trains.” Conze, 1975, p. 215.

127 ” Yu-chou is all right, but Hsin-lo is insufferable” was a proverb of the time. Yu-chou was in the extreme north of Hopei, and although still considered part of China, in most ways it was barely distinguishable from the “barbarian” regions north of the border. Hsin-lo, on the other hand, was north of the border and therefore regarded as barbarian and uncivilized. The import seems to be that, although one of two alternatives may be preferable, it is really not much better than the other.

128 “Foot” is used to translate the Chinese term ch’ih, a measurement approximating an English foot, and “inch” is used to translate ts’un, which is a tenth of a ch’ih. Thus, Dong-Sarn is describing an abnormally long face and short neck.

129 Jan of San-sheng was the monk Hui-jan, a disciple of Lin-chi. San-sheng Temple is in Hopei.

130 Mi of Ching-chao, was a disciple of Gwai-Sarn (see TSL3) and thus in Mar-Tzoe’s fourth generation. Ching-chao refers to the capital, Ch’ang-an.

131 Hui-chi of Yang-shan ( 807-883) was Gwai-Sarn’s disciple. Yang Mountain was located in Yuan-chou (Kiangsi).

132 “What is secondary,” ti-erh t’ou, is a variation of the term translated “secondary views,” ti-erh chien, in TSL62.

133 In the Ch’in Dynasty, Shang-shu was the official title of the “Keeper of the Imperial Archives”, coming to designate, by the T’ang, a post comparable to prime minister. The Ch’en here is probably Ch’en-ts’ao, referred to in CTL12 as the governor of Mu-chou. He was a lay disciple of Tao-ts’ung of Mu-chou and thus in Mar-Tzoe’s fifth generation.

134 Reference is being made here to the fifty-two “good friends” or teachers encountered by Sudhana in the Gan?d?avy?ha section of the Avatam?saka S?tra. Each one takes him a step closer to enlightenment. “The stage of subtle consciousness” is the final stage of the fifty-two stages a bodhisattva is said to pass through in order to attain Buddhahood. It is the realization of the Dharma-body.

135 The “end of summer” would be around July 15, since this marks the end of the three-month summer retreat and the beginning of the three-month free period, during which monks often visited other monasteries and teachers.

136 See TSL58.

137 Ch’ing-chu of Shih-shuang ( 807-888) started in Gwai-Sarn’s congregation but later went to Tao-wu’s and eventually became his successor. Thus, he is in Shih-tou’s fourth generation. Shih-shuang, literally, “rock frost,” is the name of a mountain in T’an-chou. TTC6, CTL15.

138 Lists of the “four forms of benevolence” vary, but a popular one, found in the Ta-ch’eng pen sheng-hsin ti-kuan ching (T. 159), includes the following four: the benevolence appropriate for parents, king, all beings, and the Three Treasures (Buddha, Dharma, Sangha). “The three classes of beings” are the beings existing in the Three Realms of Indian cosmology, i.e., the Realm of Desire, the Realm of Form, and the Formless Realm. According to The Admonitions of Gwai-Sarn (Gwai-Sarn ching-tse), Buddhists should “constantly strive to repay the kindness of others and rescue beings in the Three Realms.”

139 Literally, “beginning and ending.”

140 This may be a reference to an incident in the Avatam?saka S?tra in which Sudhana seeks to visit the first of his fifty-two teachers, Megha?ri (Te-Yiun), on a mountain peak (see TSL70). But when he arrives, no one is there, Megha?ri having gone to another peak.

141 An account of the “chicken-scaring rhino” is found in the Teng-she p’ien of Ko-hung’s ( 284-363) Pao-p’u tzu. The animal is described as having a red striped horn filled with grain, to which chickens were attracted, only to be frightened away when they got close. The poet Pai Chu-i ( 772-846) made use of this story in his Hsin leh fu, a poem lamenting the death of a rhino presented to the T’ang emperor Te Tsung. This fabulous animal, native to south Asia, had died in a snow storm en route to the capital.

142 See TSL47.

143 According to the ?ra?gama S?tra (T.642), ch. 8, and the Nirv?a S?tra (T.374), the four mountains are birth, old age, sickness, and death.

144 A “cleared field” would be one from which the old vegetation and remaining seeds have been removed, generally by burning. According to Abhidharma, an icchantika is one in whom the “seeds” of spiritual attainment have been so scorched as to destroy their potential.

145 “Pinch” is used to translate the Chinese liang, a measure of weight amounting to little more than 30 grams. Incense is normally burned during meditation, and thus this small amount would last only a short time. Dong-Sarn may be suggesting that the monk has only a short time to live.

146 The Third Patriarch was Seng-ts’an (d. 606). The stupa containing his remains was at Shan-ku Temple in Shu-chou.

147 This is a couplet from a g?th? by T’ien-jan of Tan-hsia ( 738-824), one of Shih-t’ou’s leading disciples. Tan-hsia is the name of a peak on which a hermitage was built for T’ien-jan to spend his final years. In the g?th?, Tan-hsia claims to have a miraculous jewel which he has kept hidden. Try as they might, others have not been able to discover this jewel. Then, he is “suddenly met by a man who understands emptiness, who has the freedom of these dense woods.” ( TTC4, 82a,b) This passage is followed by the couplet quoted in the present anecdote.

148 “That which enters through the door is nothing precious” is a quotation from Dong-Sarn’s master, Yiun-yen, which appears in TTC5. The following line in that text reads: “Even if your words cause stones to nod their heads, don’t value your own affairs.”

149 “He is not known by intellect or perceived by consciousness” is from the Chien ah ch’u Fuo section of the Vimalak?rti Nirde?a S?tra (T.14, 555a; Luk, p. 121).

150 “Obtaining the robe and bowl” refers to the well-known story in the first artter of the Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch, according to which Hui-neng rather than Shen-shiu is recognized by the Fifth Patriarch as his successor. This is confirmed by the Fifth Patriarch’s entrusting Bodhidharma’s robe and bowl to Hui-neng, the underlying assumption being that Hui-neng had attained complete enlightenment. The monk’s question concerns the relationship of practice to enlightenment. Shen-hsiu, in his poem written to demonstrate his understanding of Buddhism, says, “Constantly endeavor to wipe it [the mirror] clean.” The Fifth Patriarch tells Shen-hsiu that he has only arrived at the door but has not yet entered. Hui-neng’s poem includes the line “The bright mirror is originally pure. Where can dust sully it?”

151 “Entering through the door” is the same image used by Dong-Sarn’s teacher, Yiun-yen, and quoted by Dong-Sarn in TSL87: “That which enters through the door is nothing precious.” It may also be a further play on Hung-jen’s comment that Shen-hsiu had only arrived at the door.

152 “From the beginning not a single thing exists” is a quotation from the Hsing-yu section of the the later edition of the Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch (Wang Mou-lam, p.21). It is not found in the earlier Tun-huang edition. Although it is possible that a version different from the Tun-huang edition, containing this line, was in circulation during the ninth century, it is more likely that the use of the line here is an anachronism, indicating that the anecdote was reworked or even composed in the Sung Dynasty.

153 The term “hut-dwelling monk” (an-chu) applied to a type of Buddhist monk who led a reclusive existence outside the monastery. According to CTL12, Lin-chi had several such disciples: T’ung-feng an-chu, Shan-yang an-chu, Hu-chi an-chu, and Fu-p’en an-chu.

154 Wei-yen of Yiueh-shan ( 751-834) was Shih-t’ou’s disciple and Yiun-yen’s teacher. Yiueh Mountain was located in Li-chou ( Hunan). TTC4, CTL14.

155 “The bird path,” an image encountered throughout Buddhist literature, is used to describe the path of an enlightened being. It appears in the Pali Dhammapada, 7, as well as in the Perfection of Wisdom literature and its predecessor, the RatnaguU01E47asamucaya G?th?, ch. 8, verses 3 and 4: “Having cognized the revolving world as like a snare for wild beasts, the wise roam about similar to the birds in space. He who, coursing perfectly pure, does not course in form or in consciousness, perception, feeling, or will.” ( Conze, 1973, p. 25) Also in the Large Sutra on Perfect Wisdom: “The Lord: Nothing real is meant by the word ‘Bodhisattva.’ And why? Unproduced is enlightenment, unproduced is a being, and so there is no trace of enlightenment, or of a being [anywhere]. That is why nothing real is meant by the word ‘enlightenment-being.’ What is meant by the word ‘Bodhisattva,’ that does not exist, that cannot be apprehended; just as in space, the track of a bird does not exist and cannot be apprehended;…” ( Conze, 1975, p. 118) See Thomas and J.C. Cleary’s translation of a Japanese commentary on the “three paths” taught by Dong-Sarn in The Blue Cliff Record, p. 463.

156 The translation follows the TTC6, in which the character for hemp (ssu) is used for sandals. The later WCYL replaces “hemp” with “self” (ssu), in which case the sentence might read: “One should go without self underfoot.”

157 The image of one’s original face appears in the Hsing-yu section of the Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch. See note 89.

158 The WCYL appends the following anecdote:

Later a monk at Chia-shan’s ( 805-881) assembly was asked, “Where did you come from?”

“From Dong-Sarn’s,” replied the monk.

“What does Dong-Sarn teach his followers?” asked Chia-shan.

“He ordinarily teaches his students three ways,” said the monk.

“What are those three ways?” asked Chia-shan.

“The darkling way (hsuan lu), the bird path, and the open hand (chan shou),” replied the monk.

“Does he really have these teachings?” asked Chia-shan.

“Yes,” replied the monk.

“Notes resolutely grasped for one thousand li, the sorrow of the students of the Way in the Monk’s Hall,” said Chia-shan.

159 “Amidst the darkling, darken again” is a variation on a line from the first artter of the Tao-te-ching, “Darken it and darken again.”

160 Vairocana is found throughout the Avatam?saka S?tra, T. 278, and the Brahmaj?la S?tra, T. 1484, where he appears as the ruling Buddha of the Lotuswomb Realm. He represents the most metaphysically elevated Buddha of the Mah?y?na tradition, capable of manifesting himself as all the other Buddhas.

161 “Multitudinous things” appears to refer to conditioned things (sam?skr?ta dharma), i.e., the phenomenal world, and raises the question of how something unconditioned (asam?skr?ta), i.e., the Buddha, can exist in the world.

162 The “once” in the present text ( WCYL) replaces “always” in the earlier TTS. Thus the line might also read, “I am always very concerned about that.”

163 The four lines Dong-Sarn is asked to comment on are a g?th? by Lungshan that appears in TTC20 where it is part of the same encounter described in TSL23.

164 T’ung Pass is a major pass between Ch’ang-an, the imperial capital, and Lo-yang. It was regarded as the entrance to Ch’ang-an.

165 The following anecdote is appended to this one:

Later a monk asked Ts’ao-shan, “What does ‘one is old’ mean?”

“No support,” replied Ts’ao-sha.

“What does ‘one is not old’ mean?” asked the monk.

“A withered, dead tree,” answered Ta’so-sha.

166 Ng-Sid was one of Dong-Sarn’s early teachers (see TSL1). Although he is said here to have attained enlightenment under Shih-t’ou, he eventually entered Mar-Tzoe’s lineage.

167 Ten feet, a foot, and an inch do not correspond exactly to the chang, ch’ih, and ts’un of the Chinese text. A chang contains ten ch’ih, and a ch’ih ten ts’un. A ts’un is slightly more than an inch.

168 Tung-t’ing Lake, China’s largest lake, is located in northern Hunan.

169 This g?th? borrows the form of Wu keng chuan, a folk song popular in the ninth century. Wei has generally been translated “rank” (See Heinrich Dumoulin , 1953, p. 25 ). However, since the five do not have any clearly ascending order, the term can be understood in a more neutral sense, such as “mode” or “position.” “Lord and vassal,” an image for the Real and phenomena, is part of the title of Dong-Sarn’s poetic rendering of the Five Ranks doctrine. See TSL115.

170 The night is divided into five two-hour watches (keng), running from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. Therefore, the third watch would begin at midnight.

171 Instead of “familiar” (yen), the WCYL reads “despised” (hsien). This reading, however, appears to be a misprint, since not only does its conflict with the rhyme scheme, but it is also not supported by a quotation of this line in the Record of Ts’ao-shan (T. 14, 550b). This latter text confirms the present reading of “familiar.”

172. The “lotus amidst fire” is an image in the Vimalak?rti Nirde?a S?tra representing the bodhisattva’s vow to practice meditation in the midst of desires. (T. 14, 550b; Luk, p.90)

173. The ch’i lin is a mythological beast, with the characteristics of a dragon, a deer, and the Greek Pegasus. It is traditionally regarded as the mount of sylphs.

174. In TTC16, Narm-Tsiun asks Tao-wu, “What can you say about that place that knowledge does not reach?” Tao-wu replied, “One should absolutely avoid talking about that.” Narm-Tsiun said, “Truly, as soon as one explains, horns sprout on one’s head, and one becomes a beast.”

175. See TSL53.

176. The “fifty-three” is a reference to Sudhana’s fifty-three teachers in the Gan?d?avu?ha section of the Avatam?saka S?tra, T.278. These are the same as the “fifty-two” in TSL70 and 76. Although only fifty-two different teachers were visited by Sudhana, one of the bodhisattvas is visited twice (the first and last encounters). Therefore, the number is sometimes given as fifty-three.

177. Pen-chi of Ts’ao-shan (840-901), one of Dong-Sarn’s eight principal disciples, had been a student of Confucius before becoming a monk at the age of nineteen. He didn’t meet Tung-shan until much later in his life. Probably best known for his commentaries on Dong-Sarn’s doctrine of the “five ranks.” He eventually established his own center on Ts’ao Mountain in Hung-chou (Kiangsi). Although Ts’ao-shan’s line died out almost immediately, his comments on this doctrine survived and have had a major influence on Zen and on Far Eastern culture in general. This anecdote is his only actual appearance in the TSL, though his name is mentioned in Dong-Sarn’s memorial ( TSL120). CTL15.

178. The “jewel mirror” is an image that appears frequently in Buddhist literature; it can be found, for example, in the Ta-chih-tu lun,ch. 6, and the Vimalak?rti Nirde?a S?tra.

179. This simile is found throughout the Ta-chih-tu lun, e.g. “Perfect wisdom is like a great ball of flame; it can’t be grasped from any side.” Ta-chih-tu lun,ch. 19; T.25, 190c.

180. In ch. 20, Ying-erh hsing section of the Nirv??n?a S?tra (T. 12, 728-29), the “five characteristics” of the common infant are explained as analogous to the behavior of the Tath?gata, i.e., an infant is characterized by the inability to get up, stay put, come, go away, or talk. Similarly, the Tath?gata does not “raise” the thought of any dharma; does not “abide” in any dharma; does not have a body that would be capable of action (such as “coming”); does not “go” anywhere because he is already in nirvana, and, although he has taught the Dharma for living beings, has in fact “said” nothing. Also, according to this analogy, the infant is described as producing the sounds p’uo ho (seemingly meaningless sounds, translated here as ba and wa), where p’uo is equated with the Tath?gata’s teaching of permanence and the unconditioned, and ho with the teaching of impermanence and the conditioned. Thus, “speaking without speaking” describes this latter characteristic of teaching without recourse to intelligible speech. It also seems possible to interpret this to imply that what is generally accepted as intelligible speech and does in fact concern the conditioned and unconditioned ? e.g., the sutras ? is no more than the incoherent sounds of an infant when compared to ultimate reality.

181. This and the previous line develop the idea of the Five Ranks in terms of five hexagrams from the Book of Changes ( I Ching). Partially because of the ambiguity of exactly how the five transformations are to be performed, opinions have varied on what the five configurations are. A considerable body of commentary exists, beginning with Ts’ao-shan and continuing up to the present time. (See Alfonso Verdu, 1966 ). Yanagida suggests the following five configurations and the “ranks” to which each corresponds: (1) “Phenomena within the Real” is the double sun hexagram; (2) “the Real within phenomena” is the double tui; (3) “coming from within the Real” is tui above, sun below; (4) “going within together” is sun above, tui below; and (5) “arriving within together” is the double li ( Yanagida, 1974, p. 383). A description of these hexagrams can be found in Baynes and Wilhelm’s translation of the I Ching, 1950.

182. The vajra, or “thunderbolt,” is a ritual device often held while teaching. There are various numbers of prongs on the ends of a vajra, one, three, or five being most common. The one referred to here is clearly a five-pronged vajra.

183. In the discussion of the trigram li in the I Ching there appears the following comment: “Nine at the beginning. Treading with circumspection; if one acts with respect, there is no blame.”

184. This is not the traditional Buddha, Shakyamuni, but the Buddha Mah?bhij??j??n?bhibh? (the Buddha of Supreme Penetration and Surpassing Wisdom). According to the Hua ch’eng yu section of the Avatam?saka S?tra, he is said to have spent ten kalpas in meditation before attaining Buddhahood. His prolonged meditation became a popular topic in Zen literature. See The Gateless Gate ( Wu men kuan), case 9, and The Record of Lin-chi ( Sasaki, p. 34).

185. In popular lore the tiger is noted for eating all of its prey but the ears. The significance of this as well as of the whitened left hind leg of a charger is not entirely clear, but Yanagida suggests that they are indicative of venerability and power, the tiger as the master of the mountain beasts and the spirited horse as one whose hind leg has whitened with age. Yanagida, 1974, pp. 383-84.

186. The “jeweled footrest and brocade robes” alludes to the story in the Hsin chieh ( “Faith Discernment”) artter of the Lotus S?tra ( Kato pp. 111-25), in which a prodigal son, who had run away from home and wandered about for many years, finally returns home and, seeing his father dressed in brocade robes, feet resting on a jeweled footrest, does not recognize him. The father employs his son in menial tasks, for which the son is very grateful, never suspecting the true wealth to which he is heir. As the father is dying, the secret is finally revealed to the son. This is expained in the chapter as similar to the ignorance of those who are content with progress toward nirvana, never realizing their true potential as “sons of the Buddha.”

187. Narm-Tsiun (see TSL2) is recorded as saying in TTS16, 297a, “It is frequently said, ‘Patriarchs and Buddhas do not know reality. Wildcats and white oxen do.'” The passage goes on to explain that this is because in these animals there is not the least discrimination.

188. Yi is noted in traditional Chinese mythology as the skilled archer, who, at the command of the legendary Yao ( 2357-2257 B.C.), shot nine of the ten suns from the sky in order to save the crops.

189. This refers to an unnamed archer in the Chou pen chi section of the Shih chi ( Records of the Historian) who was able to pierce a willow leaf at 100 paces.

190. “Two arrow points meeting head-on” was a popular image that has its origin in the T’ang wen chapter of the Lieh-tzu. A famous archer named Fei-wei taught his technique to his student, Chi-ch’ang. Chi-ch’ang decided that, were he to kill his teacher, no one could compete with him. However, in attempting this, he unknowingly failed. When later the two met on a small country road, Chich’ang shot at Fei-wei, who in turn shot his own arrow. The two arrows met in mid-flight and fell harmlessly to the ground. As a result, Chi-ch’ang was enlightened to his own selfishness and developed a more profound relationship with his teacher. Shih-t’ou also uses this image in his poem Ts’an t’ung ch’i: “In the case of phenomena, the lid must fit the box; compliance with principle is like arrowheads meeting head-on.” TTS4, 77b. See T. Cleary, 1980, p.37.

191. “Perfect rest”, meaning nirvana, is a euphemism for death.

192. Wu-pen is literally “root of awakening.”

193. The location of this mountain has long been uncertain, but it is probably somewhere in the vicinity of Tung Mountain.

194. Yu-chang hsien is in present-day central Kiangsi province.

195. The “three root types” is a traditional Buddhist categorization of people according to their capacity for religious understanding set forth in the second chapter of the Abhidharmako?a S?stra of Vasubandhu. In the first category are those who see but do not yet comprehend the Dharma. In the second are those in the process of attaining an understanding. And in the third are those who have already understood. Thus, Dong-Sarn is credited with the ability to instruct all seekers, regardless of their inherent capacity. Lin-chi makes a similar claim with regard to people of the “three kinds of root capacity” and labels the categories “below average,” “above average,” and “superior.” T.47, 501b; Sasaki, p. 29.

196. According to the Vimalak?rti Nirde?a S?tra (T. 14, 538a) the Buddha is said to utter only a single sound, which is variously interpreted depending on the listener’s capacity to understand. “The Buddha expounds the Dharma with a single sound. People understand variously, each according to their type.”

197. “Jewel” (Boe) is often prefixed to Buddhist and Taoist terms. In addition to being prefixed to “sword” in this text, it is also prefixed to “mirror” in TSL 117, the Jewel Mirror Sam?dhi.” Both are implements serving a spiritual end. Bodhisattvas and guardian deities are often described as holding such swords for the purpose of cutting off defilements; e.g., Ma?ju?r? is iconographically represented as holding a sword, said to be for cutting off ignorance.

198. There are two explanations concerning the name of the lineage. In one, Ts’ao-tung is regarded as a combination of the names of Dong-Sarn and his disciple Ts’ao-shan. However, according to adherents of the line of another of Tungshan’s disciples, Yiun-chu, ts’ao refers to the name of the Sixth Patriarch’s center, Tsoe-Kai.

(Translated into English by John Myrdhin Reynolds)

The Blue Cliff Record

The translations of the sayings of the Zen masters are inaccurate

Hekiganroku – Case 1: Bodhidharma’s “Clear and Void”

Emperor Bu of Ryo [1] asked Great Master Bodhidharma,
“What is the highest meaning of the holy reality?”
Bodhidharma replied,
“Clear and void, no holiness.”
The emperor said,
“Who are you in front of me?”
Bodhidharma said,
“I don’t know.”
The emperor did not match him.

Finally, Bodhidharma crossed the Yangtse River and came to the kingdom of Gi.
Later, the emperor asked Shiko for his view. Shiko said,
“Does Your Majesty know who this man is?”
The emperor said,
“I don’t know.”
Shiko said,
“He is the Mahasattwa Avalokitesvara transmitting the seal of Buddha’s Mind.”
The emperor regretted and wanted to send an emissary to invite Bodhidharma
back. Shiko said,
“Your Majesty, do not intend to send an emissary to fetch him back. Even if
all the people in the land were to go after him, he would not return.”

[1]: Emperor Bu reigned over the land of Ryo between 502-509

Hekiganroku – Case 2: Joshu’s “Supreme Way”

Joshu, instructing the assembly, said,
“The supreme Way is not difficult; it simply dislikes choosing [1]. But even
if a word is uttered, it is already an action of ‘choosing’ or of adhering
to ‘clarity’. This old monk [2] doesn’t dwell in clarity. Do you monks want
to keep a firm hold on ‘clarity’ or not?”
At that time a monk asked,
“You say you do not dwell in clarity. If so, what is there to keep a firm
hold on?”
Joshu said,
“I don’t know, either.”
The monk said,
“If you, Master, don’t know, why do you say that you don’t dwell in clarity?”
Joshu said,
“You have already asked amply. Bow and withdraw.”

[1]: Cf. the beginning of the Shinjinmei (Believing in the Mind; Poem composed
by the third Patriarch Sosan):
“The supremet Way is not difficult;
it simply dislikes choosing.
Only if there is no love or hatred,
all is complete clarity.”

[2]: “this old monk” i.e. “I”

Hekiganroku – Cas 3: Master Ba Is Ill

Great Master Ba was seriously ill. The chief priest of the temple asked him,
“Master, how are you feeling these days?”
Great Master said,
“Sun-face Buddha, Moon-face Buddha” [1].

[1]: The “Sun-face Buddha” is a buddha, who is said to have a life of
1800 years, while the “Moon-face Buddha” lives only 24 hours.

Case 4: Tokusan with His Bundle

Tokusan arrived at Isan. Carrying his bundle under his arm, he stepped into
the Dharma hall. He walked across it from east to west and from west to east.
Looking around he said, “None, none!” and went out.
(Setcho [1] commented: “Seen through!”)

But when he got to the entrance gate, Tokusan said, “Still, I shouldn’t be so
hasty.” So, he dressed formally and entered again to meet Isan. As Isan sat at
his place, Tokusan held up his sitting cloth in a ceremonial manner and said,
“Master!” Isan was about to take his whisk, when suddenly Tokusan shouted,
“Kaatz!” Then he flourished his sleeves and went out.
(Setcho commented: “Seen through!”)

Turning his back on the Dharma hall, Tokusan put on his straw sandals and left.
In the evening, Isan asked the head monk, “Where is the newcomer who was here
a while ago?” The head monk said, “He soon turned his back on the Dharma hall,
put on his straw sandals and went away.” Isan said, “One day that fellow
will build a grass hut upon a lonely peak, and scold the buddhas and abuse
the patriarchs.”
(Setcho commented: “Piling up frost on top of snow.”)

[1]: Setcho Zenji is the compiler of the Hekiganroku.
[2]: In Japanese: hossu i.e. a stick with a flexible whisk on top

Hekiganroku – Case 5: Seppo’s “Grain of Rice”

Seppo, teaching the assembly, said,
“When you pick up the whole earth in your fingers, it’s the size of a grain
of rice. I cast it down before you. Like in a black lacquer bucket, you
don’t recognize it any more. Beat the drum, call everyone to look for it!”

Hekiganroku – Case 6: Unmon’s “Good Day”

Unmon, giving instruction, said,
“I don’t ask you about before the fifteenth day; bring me a phrase about
after the fifteenth day.”
Unmon himself answered in the monks’ stead,
“Every day is a good day.”

Case 7: Echo Asks about Buddha

A monk asked Hogen, “I, Echo, ask you, Master. What is Buddha?”
Hogen said, “You are Echo.”

Case 8: Suigan’s “Eyebrows”

Towards the end of summer [1], Suigan instructed the assembly, saying,
“All summer I’ve preached to you, my brothers. Look here, are Suigan’s
eyebrows still there? [2]”
Hofuku said,
“The robber’s heart is terrified!”
Chokei said,
“They are well grown!”
Unmon said,
“Kan!” [3]

[1]: Summer-sesshin for 3 months.
[2]: According to the popular belief a great criminal should lose his eyebrows
as a sign of his coming punishment in hell.
[3]: Literally kan means “barrier” (cf. Mumonkan). In those days this Chinese
word colloquially meant also, “Watch out!” or “There!”

Hekiganroku – Case 9: Joshu’s Four Gates

A monk asked Joshu,
“What is Joshu?” [1]
Joshu said,
“East gate, west gate, south gate, north gate.”

[1]: The name of the Zen Master Joshu is taken from the city “Joshu”, near
which he taught.

Case 10: Bokushu’s “Idiot”

Bokushu asked a monk, “Where have you come from?”
At once the monk shouted, “Kaatz!”
Bokushu said, “The old monk has been scolded by you with a ‘Kaatz’!”
The monk shouted again, “Kaatz!”
Bokushu said, “After three or four shouts of ‘Kaatz’, then what?”
The monk was silent.
Bokushu hit him saying, “You idiot!”

Case 11: Obaku’s “Drinkers of Lees”

Obaku, instructing the assembly, said,
“You are all drinkers of lees. If you continue to go on your Way like this,
where will the ‘Today’ [The world of nirvana] be? Do you know that in
this great empire of Tang there is no Zen master?”
Now a monk came forward and said,
“What would you say to the fact that in various places there are people who
accept students and direct their assemblies?”
Obaku said,
“I don’t say that there is no Zen; I only say that there is no master.”

Hekiganroku – Case 12: Tozan’s “Three Pounds of hemp” [1]

A monk asked Tozan,
“What is Buddha?”
Tozan said,
“Three pounds of hemp.” [2]

[1]: cf. case 18 of the Mumonkan
[2]: In Japanese: masagin

Case 13: Haryo’s “Silver Bowl” [1]

A monk asked Haryo, “What is the Deva Sect?”
Haryo said, “Heaping up snow in a silver bowl.”

[1]: Cf. Case 22/a in the Miscellaneous Koans.

Case 14: Unmon’s “Preaching Fittingly”

A monk asked Unmon,
“What is the teaching of the whole lifetime of Shakyamuni?”
Unmon said,
“Preaching one thing.” [In Japanese: Tai-issetsu.]

Hekiganroku – Case 15: Unmon’s “Preaching in the Reverse”

A monk asked Unmon,
“What is it that’s not the function of the mind in me nor a thing before me?”
Unmon said,
“Preaching in the reverse.” [1]

[1]: In Japanese: Toissetsu

Case 16: Kyosei and “Picking and Pecking”

A monk asked Kyosei,
“I, your student, am picking from inside the shell.
I beg you, Master, please peck from outside.”
Kyosei said, “But will you be alive or not?”
The monk said, “If I were not alive, people would all laugh.”
Kyosei said, “You fool in the weeds!”

Case 17: Kyorin’s “Sitting for a Long Time”

A monk asked Kyorin,
“What is the meaning of the Patriarch’s coming from the West?”
Kyorin said,
“I am tired from sitting for a long time.”

Hekiganroku – Case 18: The National Teacher’s Gravestone

Emperor Shukuso [1] asked Chu, the national teacher,
“What would you wish me to do after a hundred years ?” [2]
The national teacher said,
“Make a seamless gravestone [3] for this old monk.”
The emperor said,
“I should like to ask you, master, for a design.”
The national teacher remained silent for a long time. Then he said,
“Did you understand?”
The emperor said,
“I didn’t understand anything.”
The national teacher said,
“I have a Dharma successor, my disciple Tangen, who is well versed with
this matter. Let him come to you and ask him about it.”

After the national teacher passed away, the emperor called Tangen and asked
him about the meaning of this. Tangen responded:
“The south of the river, north of the lake:
(Setcho commented, “The single hand does not sound without reason.”)
In between there’s gold, which fills the whole land.
(Setcho commented, “A staff, hewn freshly from the mountain forest.”)
Under the shadowless tree all people are in one boat;
(Setcho added, “The sea is peaceful, the river clear.”)
In the crystal palace there is no one who knows.
(Setcho commented, “The speech is finished.”)”

[1] historically speaking it was Emperor Daiso the oldest son and successor
of Shukuso.
[2] after your death
[3] an egg-formed gravestone which is made out of a single piece of stone.
It was often made for deceased monks.

Hekiganroku – Case 19: Gutei’s One Finger [1]

Whatever he was asked about Buddhism, Master Gutei simply stuck up one finger.

[1]: see case 3 of the Mumonkan

Case 20: Suibi and the Chin Rest

Ryuge asked Suibi,
“What is the meaning of the Patriarch’s coming from the west?”
Suibi said,
“Bring me a chin rest.”
Ryuge brought one and gave it to him. Suibi took it and hit him.
Ryuge said,
“You may hit me as you like. After all there is no meaning to the
Patriarch’s coming from the west.”

Ryuge also asked Rinzai,
“What is the meaning of the Patriarch’s coming from the west?”
Rinzai said,
“Bring me a sitting cushion.”
Ryuge got one and gave it to Rinzai. Rinzai took it and hit him. Ryuge said,
“You may hit me as you like. After all there is no meaning to the
Patriarch’s coming from the west.”

[1] Literally: “Zen board” i.e. a narrow board used so as to let one sleep in
the sitting posture.

Hekiganroku – Case 21: Chimon’s “Lotus”

A monk asked Chimon,
“What is it when the lotus has not yet come out of the water?”
Chimon said,
“Lotus flowers.”
The monk asked,
“What is it after the lotus has come out of the water?”
Chimon replied,
“Lotus leaves.”

Hekiganroku – Case 22: Seppo’s “Poisonous Snake” [1]

Seppo, instructing the assembly, said,
“There’s a poisonous snake on the southern side of the mountain. All of you
should look at it carefully!”
Chokei said,
“Today in the Zen hall there are many people. They have lost their body
and life.”
A monk told this to Gensha, who said,
“Only Elder Brother Ryo [2] could say something like that. However,
I wouldn’t talk like that.”
The monk asked,
“What then would you say, Master”?
Gensha replied,
“Why does it have to be ‘the southern side of the mountain’?”
Unmon threw his staff in front of Seppo and acted frightened.

[1]: see case 24 of Shoyoroku.
[2]: i.e. Chokei

Hekiganroku – Case 23: Hofuku and Chokei Go on a Picnic

Once Hofuku and Chokei went out on a picnic in the hills.
Hofuku, pointing with a finger, said,
“Right here is the summit of Myo Peak.” [1]
Chokei said,
“Exactly. But, it’s regrettable.”

(Setcho commented saying,
“What’s the use of making an excursion with these fellows today?”
He again said,
“Hundreds and thousands of years from now, I don’t say that there will
be none like him, only that there will be very few.”)

Later, they reported to Kyosei about it. Kyosei said,
“If it weren’t for the Reverend Son [2], you would see only skeletons in
the field.”

[1] Literally: “the Peak of Wonder.”
[2] Namely Chokei.

Hekiganroku – Case 24: Tetsuma, the Cow

Ryu Tetsuma [1] came to Isan. Isan said,
“Old Cow, you have come!”
Tetsuma said,
“Tomorrow there will be a great feast at Mt Tai [2].
Will you go there, Master?”
Isan lay down and stretched himself out. Tetsuma left immediately.

[1] A famous Zen person, once a student of Isan. Her name means “Ryu, the
iron grindstone.”
[2] More exactly: Mt. Gotai, which is far away in the northern part of
the country.

Case 25: The Hermit of Lotus Peak

The hermit of Lotus Peak [1] took up his staff and showed it to the assembly,
saying, “When the old ones [2] reached this point, why didn’t they dare
to remain here?” The assembly was silent. He himself answered in their stead,
saying, “Because that has no power on the Way.”
Again he said, “After all, how is it?” Once more he himself answered in
their place, saying, “With my staff across my shoulders, and, paying other
people no heed, I go straight into the thousand and ten thousand peaks.”

[1] Originally “Rengeho.” His real name was Sho, a Dharma grandson of
Unmon Zenji
[2] The great Zen personages of old.

Hekiganroku – Case 26: Hyakujo on Daiyu Peak

A monk asked Hyakujo,
“What is the matter of extraordinary wonder?”
Hyakujo said,
“Sitting alone on Daiyu [1] Peak!”
The monk made a deep bow. Hyakujo thereupon hit him.

[1] The name of the mountain, where Hyakujo’s monastery was located.

Hekiganroku – Case 27: Unmon’s “Complete exposure”

A monk asked Unmon,
“What is it when the tree withers and the leaves fall?”
Unmon answered,
“Complete exposure of the golden wind. [1]”

[1] The autumn wind was also called “golden wind”.

Case 28: Nansen’s “Dharma That Has Never Been Preached”

Nansen went to see Master Hyakujo Nehan.
Hyakujo asked,
“Is there any Dharma that the sages of the past have never preached to
the people?”
Nansen said,
“There is.”
Hyakujo asked,
“What is this Dharma that has never been preached to the people?”
Nansen said,
“This is not mind, this is not Buddha, this is not thing.”
Hyakujo said,
“You did preach like that.”
Nansen said,
“That’s how it is with me. How about you, Master?”
Hyakujo said,
“I am not a man of great wisdom. How am I to know whether there is a
Dharma that has been preached or that has never been preached?”
Nansen said,
“I don’t understand.”
Hyakujo said,
“I have already preached to you fully.”

Hekiganroku – Case 29: Daizui and the “Kalpa Fire”

A monk asked Daizui,
“When the great kalpa fire is inflamed, the whole universe [1] will be
destroyed. I wonder if ‘that’ will also be destroyed or not.”
Daizui said,
“Destroyed.”
The monk said,
“If so, will ‘that’ be gone with the other?” [2]
Daizui said,
“Gone with the other.”

[1] Literally: “a billion worlds”
[2] The word “the other” means “the universe.”

Hekiganroku – Case 30: Joshu’s “Giant Radishes”

A monk asked Joshu,
“I’ve heard that you personally met Nansen [1]. Is it true or not?”
Joshu replied,
“The province of Chin [2] produces giant radishes.”

[1] I.e., “… that you were a student of Nansen.”
[2] The province of Chin was famous for producing great radishes. Joshu’s
monastery was also located in that area.

Hekiganroku – Case 31: Mayoku Circles Around the Master’s Dais

Mayoku, with his ring-staff in hand, came to Shokei.
He circled Shokei’s dais three times, shook the ring-staff and
stood there bolt upright.
Shokei said, “Right, right!” (Setcho comments, “Wrong!”)

Mayoku then came to Nansen. He circled Nansen’s dais three times, shook
the ring-staff and stood there bolt upright.
Nansen said, “Not right, not right!” (Setcho comments, “Wrong!”)

Then, Mayoku said, “Master Shokei said, ‘Right, right!’ Why, Master, do you
say, ‘Not right, not right!’?”
Nansen said, “With Shokei it is right, but with you it is not right.
This is nothing but a whirling of the wind [1]. In the end, it will perish.”

[1]: one of the four elements in Chinese physics (earth, air, fire, wind),
wind is the element of movement.

Case 32: Jo and the “Essence of Buddhism”

A senior monk Jo asked Rinzai, “What is the essence of Buddhism?”
Rinzai came down from his seat, grabbed him by the lapels, slapped him and
thrust him away. Jo stood there as if rooted to the spot.
A monk standing nearby said, “Senior monk Jo! Why don’t you make a deep bow?”
As he made a deep bow, Jo suddenly attained a great enlightenment.

Hekiganroku – Case 33: Chinso Has One Eye

National Secretary Chinso went to see Shifuku. When Shifuku saw him coming, he
drew a circle. Chinso said,
“It is already straying from the essence that your student has come to you
at all. Why do you draw a circle in addition to that?”
Thereupon Shifuku closed the door of his room.
(Setcho said, “Chinso has but one eye.”)

Case 34: Kyozan’s “Not Wandering”

Kyozan asked a monk,
“Where have you come from?”
The monk said,
“From Mount Ro.” [1]
Kyozan said,
“Have you been to the Goroho Peak?” [2]
The monk said,
“No, I have never been there.”
Kyozan said,
“Then you have never been to the mountains at all!”
Unmon said,
“Because of too much compassion these words have fallen into grasses.”

[1]: One of the most beautiful and most famous mountains in the southern part
of China with many Zen monasteries.
[2]: The Goroho Peak, translated as “Five Elder” Peak, is the most noted peak
of Mt. Ro.

Case 35: Manjusri’s “Three Three”

Manjusri asked Mujaku,
“Where have you come from?”
Mujaku answered,
“From the south.” [1]
Manjusri said,
“How is the Buddhist Dharma in the South maintained?”
Mujaku said,
“The monks of this age of the corrupted Dharma are venerating the precepts
a little.”
Manjusri said,
“How many monks are over there?”
Mujaku said,
“Three hundred here, five hundred there.”
Mujaku asked Manjusri,
“How is the Buddhist Dharma maintained here?”
Manjusri said,
“Worldly and Saints live together, dragons and snakes are mixed with
each other.”
Mujaku said,
“How many monks are here?”
Manjusri said,
“Three three before, three three behind.”

[1]: The South of China, namely the region of Konan.

Hekiganroku – Case 36: Chosa Goes Picnicking

One day, Chosa went for a walk in the mountains.
When he returned to the gate, the head monk said,
“Where have you been, Master?”
Chosa said,
“I was out walking about in the mountains.”
The head monk said,
“Where did you go?”
Chosa said,
“First, I went following the scented grass; then came back through the
falling flowers.”
The head monk said,
“It sounds very much like a spring mood.”
Chosa said,
“It’s better than the autumn dew dropping on the lotus flower.”

(Setcho commented, “I am grateful for that answer.”)

Case 37: Banzan’s “Not One Thing in the Three Worlds”

Banzan, giving instruction, said, “In the Three Worlds [1], there is not one

thing. Where should one seek the mind?”

[1]: The World of desires, the World of materials, and the World of
non-materials.

Hekiganroku – Case 38: Fuketsu’s “Heart Seal”

When he was staying at the government office of the Province Ei, Fuketsu
entered the hall [to preach] and said,
“The heart seal [1] [stamp] of the patriarch [2] resembles the activity
of the iron ox [3]. When it goes away, the [impression of the] seal
remains; when it stays there, the [impression of the] seal is brought to
naught. If it neither goes away nor stays, would it be right to give a
seal [of approval] or not?”

Then Elder Rohi came up and said,
“I have the activities of the iron ox. [However,] I ask you, Master,
not to give me the seal.”

Fuketsu said,
“I am accustomed to leveling the great ocean through fishing whales. But,
alas, now I find instead a frog wriggling about in the mud.”

Rohi stood there considering.

Fuketsu shouted
“Kaatz!”
and said,
“Why don’t you say anything else, Elder?”

Rohi was perplexed.

Fuketsu hit him with his whisk and said,
“Do you remember what you said? Say something, I’ll check it for you.”

Rohi tried to say something. Fuketsu hit him again with his whisk.

The Magistrate said,
“Buddha’s law and the King’s law are of the same nature.”

Fuketsu said,
“What principle do you see in them?”

The Magistrate said,
“If you do not make a decision where a decision should be made,
you are inviting disorder.”

Fuketsu descended from the rostrum.

[1]: The form of the heart-mind.
[2]: Bodhidharma.
[3]: An “iron ox” is a massive construction which lay at the bottom of the
Yellow River. It stood against the great stream and protected the area
from flood.

Hekiganroku – Case 39: Unmon’s “Garden Fence”

A monk asked Unmon,
“What is the Pure Dharma-body [1]?”
Unmon said,
“Flower fence” [2].
The monk said,
“What if I understand the point that way?”
Unmon said,
“A golden-haired lion.”

[1]: The body of the ultimate Truth (Jap. hoshin, sk. dharmakaya) or one of the
three bodies of Buddha.
[2]: In Japanese: Kayakuran. It actually was a flower fence around a restroom.

Case 40: Nansen and the Flower

Minister Rikuko talked with Nansen.
Rikuko said,
“Dharma-teacher Jo said, ‘Heaven and earth and I have one and the
same root; all things and I are one single body.’ How wonderful this is!”

Nansen pointed at the flowers in the garden, called to Rikuko and said,
“People of our time [1] see these flowers as in a dream.”

[1]: I.e. “you.”

Case 41: Joshu’s “Great Death”

Joshu asked Tosu,
“What is it if a man who has died a great Death comes back to life?”
Tosu said,
“I don’t allow walking about in the night. Come in the daylight.”

Hekiganroku – Case 42: Ho Koji’s “Beautiful Snow”

Ho Koji [1] was leaving Yakusan. The latter ordered ten of his Zen students
to see Koji off at the temple gate. Koji pointed to the falling snow in the
air and said,
“Beautiful snow-flakes! — they don’t fall on any other place.”
At that time there was a student named Zen, who said,
“Where then do they fall?”
Koji gave him a slap. Zen said,
“Koji, don’t be so rough.”
Koji said,
“If you name yourself Zen student in such a condition, Old En [2] will
never release you!”
Zen said,
“What then would you say, Koji?”
Koji slapped him again and said,
“You see with your eyes but you are just like a blind man. You speak with
your mouth, but you are just like a dumb man.”

(Setcho added his comment, “At the first words, I immediately would have
made a snowball and threw it against him.”)

[1]: Koji is an honorific for a lay practitioner of Buddhism.
[2]: Usually named Emma-Daio (the King of hell Emma). He is supposed to be the
fearful judge at the entrance of the realm of the dead.

Case 43: Tozan’s “Cold and Heat”

A monk asked Tozan,
“When cold and heat come, how should one avoid them?”
Tozan said,
“Why not go to a place where there is neither cold nor heat?”
The monk said,
“What kind of place is it where there is neither cold nor heat?”
Tozan said,
“When it is cold, the cold kills you; when it is hot, the heat kills you.”

Hekiganroku – Case 44: Kasan’s “Beat the Drum”

Kasan, giving instruction, said,
“Practicing and learning — it is called ‘hearing’ (mon);
completing learning — it is called ‘being next [to the fact]’ (rin).
When you have passed through these two, it is called ‘true passing’
(shinka). ”
A monk stepped forward and asked,
“What is the ‘true passing’?”
Kasan said,
“Beat the drum.”
He asked again,
“What is the true Reality?”
Kasan said,
“Beat the drum.”
He asked again,
“I do not ask about the sentence, ‘Mind itself is Buddha.'[1]
[But] What does ‘Neither Mind nor Buddha'[2] mean?”
Kasan said,
“Beat the drum.”
He asked once more,
“When someone who knows the ultimate Truth comes, how should we receive him?”
Kasan said,
“Beat the drum!”

[1]: Cf. Case 30 in the Mumonkan.
[2]: Cf. Case 33 in the Mumonkan.

Hekiganroku – Case 45: Joshu’s “Cloth Robe”

A monk asked Joshu,
“The ten thousand Dharmas [1] come down to one.
What does the one come down to?”
Joshu said,
“When I was living in the Province of Sei, I made a cloth robe.
It weighed seven pounds.”

[1]: The word “Dharma” means here “phenomenon”. “Ten thousand Dharmas” means,
therefore, “all things that exist in the world of phenomena”.

Hekiganroku – Case 46: Kyosei and the Raindrops

Kyosei asked a monk,
“What is that sound outside?”
The monk said,
“That is the sound of raindrops.”
Kyosei said,
“People live in a topsy-turvy world. They lose themselves in delusion about
themselves and only pursue [outside] objects.”
The monk said,
“What about you, Master?”
Kyosei said,
“I was on the brink of losing myself in such delusions about myself.”
The monk said,
“What do you mean, ‘on the brink of losing myself in such delusions
about myself’?”
Kyosei said,
“To break through [into the world of Essence] may be easy. But to express
fully the bare substance is difficult.”

Hekiganroku – Case 47: Unmon’s “Six”

A monk asked Unmon,
“What is the Dharma-body [1]?”
Unmon said,
“The six [2] can’t grasp it.”

[1]: (same note as Case 39) The body of the ultimate Truth (Jap. hoshin, sk.
dharmakaya) or one of the three bodies of Buddha.
[2]: The “Six” means “six roots” (eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, consciousness),
“six objects” (color, voice, odor, taste, touch, phenomenon), and/or
“six functions” (see, hear, smell, taste, feel, know). Or it could be
any other “six”-ness.

CASE 48: Tea at Shokei Temple

Minister Ô [1] visited Shokei Temple, where he offered tea. The senior monk
Ro took up the kettle to serve Myosho [2]. But Ro overturned the kettle
[over the tea hearth]. The minister saw this and asked the senior monk,
“What is there under the tea hearth?”
Ro said,
“Deities holding up the hearth [3].”
The minister said,
“If they are deities holding up the hearth, why did they overturn the
kettle?”
Ro said,
“Thousand days of good service — all is lost in one morning.”
The minister flourished his sleeves and went out.

Myosho said,
“Elder Ro, you have eaten plenty of rice in Shokei Temple, and yet
you are simply a [useless] stump in the field.”
Ro said,
“What would you have said, Master?”
Myosho said,
“These non-human beings [4] wreaked havoc.”

(Setcho said, “At that moment I would have kicked over the tea hearth.”)

[1]: Minister Ô was a patron of Shokei Temple.
[2]: Myosho was senior to Ro. He was the abbot of the neighboring temple
and was apparently invited to the tea too.
[3]: The legs of the tea hearth were shaped like demi-gods.
[4]: I.e., the “deities who hold up the hearth”.

Hekiganroku – Case 49: Sansho’s “Net”

Sansho asked Seppo,
“When a fish with golden scales has passed through the net, what should
it get for food?”
Seppo said,
“I will tell you when you have passed through the net.”
Sansho said,
“A great Zen master with 1500 disciples doesn’t know how to speak.”
Seppo said,
“The old monk[1] is just too busy with temple affairs.”

[1]: I.e., “I”

Hekiganroku – Case 50: Unmon and the “Dust-Dust Samadhi”

A monk asked Unmon,
“What is the dust-dust samadhi [1] ?”
Unmon said,
“Rice in the bowl, water in the pail.”

[1]: The word “dust” comes from the expression “six dust particles”, which
means the same thing as the “six objects” (cf. note to Case 47).

Hekiganroku – Case 51: Seppo’s “What Is This?”

When Seppo was living in a hermitage, two monks came to pay their respects.
When he saw them coming, Seppo thrust open the gate of his hermitage with his
hands, jumped out, and said,
“What is this?”
The monks also said,
“What is this?”
Seppo hung his head and retired into his hermitage.

Later, the monks came to Ganto. He asked them,
“Where have you come from?”
The monks said,
“From Reinan [1].”
Ganto said,
“Did you ever visit Seppo?”
The monks said,
“Yes, we visited him.”
Ganto said,
“What did he say?”
The monks related what had happened. Ganto said,
“What else did he say?”
The monks said,
“Not a word; he hung his head and retired into his hermitage.”
Ganto said,
“Ah, how I regret now that in those days I did not tell him the last word!
If I had told it to him, no one under heaven could do anything against him.”

At the end of the summer practice period the monks came back to this
conversation and asked him about its meaning. Ganto said,
“Why didn’t you ask me about it sooner?”
The monk said,
“We could not dare to ask you about it.”
Ganto said,
“Seppo was born on the same stem as I [2], but he will not die on the same
stem. If you want to know the last word, it is just this.”

[1]: A region in the south, where Seppo was living at that time.
[2]: Seppo and Ganto were both students of Tokusan; cf. Case 13 in the Mumonkan.

Case 52: Joshu’s Stone Bridge

A monk asked Joshu,
“For a long time, the stone bridge of Joshu [1] has echoed in my ears.
But now that I’ve come here, I just see a log bridge.”
Joshu said,
“You simply see a log bridge; you don’t see the stone bridge yet.”
The monk said,
“What is the stone bridge?”
Joshu said,
“It lets donkeys cross, it lets horses cross.”

[1]: (same note as case 9) The name of the Zen Master Joshu is taken from the
city “Joshu”, near which he taught.

Hekiganroku – Case 53: Hyakujo and the Wild Ducks

When Great Master Ba was walking with Hyakujo, he saw wild ducks flying by.
The Great Master said,
“What is that?”
Hyakujo said,
“Wild ducks.”
The Great Master said,
“Where did it go?”
Hyakujo said,
“They flew away.”
The Great Master twisted Hyakujo’s nose tip. Hyakujo cried out in pain.
The Great Master said,
“Why flew away?”

Hekiganroku – Case 54: Unmon Stretches His Arms

Unmon asked a monk,
“Where have you come from?”
The monk said,
“From Saizen.”
Unmon said,
“What words does Saizen say lately?”
The monk stretched out his arms. Unmon slapped him.
The monk said,
“I have something to say about it.”
Unmon then stretched out his own arms. The monk remained silent.
Then Unmon hit him.

Case 55: Dogo’s Condolence Visit

Dogo and Zengen came to a house to express condolences. Zengen tapped on the
coffin and said,
“Is this life or death?”
Dogo said,
“I don’t say life, I don’t say death.”
Zengen said,
“Why don’t you?”
Dogo said,
“I won’t say, I won’t say.”

On the way back Zengen said,
“Master, please say it to me right away. If you don’t, I shall hit you.”
Dogo said,
“If you want to hit me, you can hit me. But I will never say.”
Thereupon Zengen hit him.

Some time later Dogo passed away. Zengen went to Sekiso and told him what
had happened. Sekiso said,
“I don’t say life, I don’t say death.”
Zengen said,
“Why don’t you?”
Sekiso said,
“I won’t say, I won’t say.”
With these words, Zengen came suddenly to an insight.

One day, Zengen took a hoe and walked in the Dharma-hall from east to west and
west to east. Sekiso said,
“What are you doing?”
Zengen said,
“I am seeking the sacred bones of the late master.”
Sekiso said,
“Giant billows far and wide; whitecaps swelling up to heaven. What
sort of sacred bones of your late master are you searching for?”
(Setcho commented, “Heavens! heavens!”)
Zengen said,
“That was very good for me in order to gain power.”
Taigen Fu [1] said,
“The sacred bones of the late master are still there.”

[1]: He stood in the Dharma line of Seppo.

Hekiganroku – Case 56: Kinzan and the “Arrow”

A Zen devotee named Ryo asked Kinzan,
“What is it when one single arrow breaks through three barriers?”
Kinzan said,
“Drive out the master from behind the barriers, so that I may see him.”
Ryo said,
“If so, I will acknowledge my failure and correct it.”
Kinzan said,
“Till when do you want to wait?”
Ryo said,
“I made a nice shot, but no one could see the arrow,”
and he went out. Kinzan said,
“Wait, sir.”
Ryo turned his head. Kinzan grasped him and said,
“Let’s put aside the story of the arrow which breaks through three barriers.
Just shoot an arrow for me, so that I may see it.”
Ryo hesitated. Kinzan hit him seven times with a stick and said,
“I will allow this fellow to keep puzzling for thirty years.”

Hekiganroku – Case 57: Joshu and the “Bumpkin”

A monk asked Joshu,
“‘The supreme Way is not difficult; it simply dislikes choosing’. What
is non-choosing?”
Joshu said,
“Above the heavens and under the heavens I am the only one, alone and
exalted.”
The monk said,
“That is still choosing.”
Joshu said,
“You stupid bumpkin, where is the choosing?”
The monk remained silent.

Case 58: Joshu and the “Pitfall”

A monk asked Joshu,
“‘The supreme Way is not difficult; it simply dislikes choosing.’ Isn’t
that the pitfall of the people of our time [1]?”
Joshu said,
“Once someone asked me like that. I am sorry that even after five years
I still can’t give an answer to it.”

[1]: (same note as Case 40) I.e. “you.”

Hekiganroku – Case 59: Joshu’s “Supreme Way”

A monk asked Joshu,
“‘The supreme way is not difficult, it simply dislikes choosing. But even
if a word is uttered, it is already an action of ‘choosing.’ — Then how
can you, Master, try to lead other people?”
Joshu said,
“Why don’t you quote the sentence to the end?”
The monk said,
“I just had this much in my mind.”
Joshu said,
“It’s only: ‘The supreme way is not difficult; it simply dislikes
choosing.'” [1]

[1]: Cf. Case 2.

Hekiganroku – Case 60: Unmon’s Staff

Unmon showed his staff to the assembly and said,
“This staff has changed into a dragon and has swallowed up the heaven and
the earth. Where do mountains, rivers and the great earth come from?”

Hekiganroku – Case 61: Fuketsu’s “House and Nation”

Fuketsu, giving instruction, said,
“If one raises a speck of dust, the house and the nation prosper. If one
does not raise a speck of dust, they perish.”

(Setcho held up his staff and said,
“Is there anyone who lives and dies with this?”)

Hekiganroku – Case 62: Unmon’s “One Treasure”

Unmon, instructing the assembly, said,
“‘Within heaven and earth, in the midst of the universe, there is one
treasure hidden in a body.’ [1] You take up the lantern and go to the
Buddha Hall; you take the temple gate and put it on the lantern.”

[1]: A sentence from the Hozoron by Monk Jo (?-414).

Hekiganroku – Case 63: Nansen Kills a Cat [1]

Once the monks of the eastern and western Zen halls in Nansen’s temple were
quarrelling about a cat. As he saw this, Nansen held up the cat and said,
“You monks! If one of you can say a word, I will not slay the cat.”
No one could answer. Nansen cut the cat in two.

[1]: Cf. Case 14 in the Mumonkan.

Hekiganroku – Case 64: Joshu and the Sandals [1]

Nansen told Joshu what had happened [2], and asked him for his view. Joshu
thereupon took his sandals, put them upon his head and went away. Nansen said,
“If you had been there, I could have spared the cat.”

[1] Cf. case 14 in the Mumonkan.
[2] Cf. case 63.

Hekiganroku – Case 65: A Non-Buddhist Questions Buddha [1]

A non-Buddhist asked Buddha,
“I do not ask about words, I do not ask about no-words.”
Buddha remained still. The non-Buddhist praised him and said,
“The great benevolence and great mercy of the World-Honored One have opened
the clouds of my delusion and enabled me to enter the Way.”
After the non-Buddhist took his leave, Ananda asked Buddha,
“What did the non-Buddhist realize so that he said you had enabled him
to enter the Way?”
Buddha said,
“He is like a fine horse that runs even at the shadow of a whip.”

[1]: Cf. case 32 in the Mumonkan.

Hekiganroku – Case 66: Ganto and the “Sword”

Ganto asked a monk,
“Where have you come from?”
The monk said,
“From Saikyo [1].”
Ganto said,
“After Koso [2] was gone, did you get his sword?”
The monk said,
“Yes, I got it.”
Ganto stuck out his neck, approached the monk, and said,
“Ka!”
The monk said,
“The Master’s head has already fallen.”
Ganto laughed loudly.

Later, the monk came to Seppo. Seppo asked,
“Where have you come from?”
The monk said,
“From Ganto.”
Seppo asked,
“What did he say?”
The monk told him what had happened. Seppo gave him thirty blows with his
stick and drove him away.

[1] The western capital of the Tang Dynasty.
[2] A rebel who — according to a legend — received a sword from heaven on
which it was inscribed, “Heaven gives Koso this sword.” He conquered
Saikyo in 880, but was killed four years later.

Case 67: Fu Daishi Expounds the Sutra

The emperor Bu of Ryo [1] invited Fu Daishi [2] and asked him to lecture
on the Diamond Sutra. Daishi thereupon mounted the rostrum, struck the
lectern once and descended. The emperor Bu was astounded. Shiko [3] asked him,
“Did Your Majesty understand it?”
The emperor said,
“No.”
Shiko said,
“Daishi has already finished his Sutra lecture.”

[1]: (Same note as case 1) Emperor Bu reigned over the land of Ryo
between 502-509.
[2]: “Daishi” means Bodhisattva
[3]: Cf. case 1

Hekiganroku – Case 68: Kyozan and “Your Name”

Kyozan asked Sansho,
“What’s your name?”
Sansho said,
“Ejaku. [1]”
Kyozan said,
“Ejaku — that’s me.”
Sansho said,
“My name is Enen. [2]”
Kyozan laughed loudly.

[1] The complete name of Kyozan is “Kyozan Ejaku”.
[2] The complete name of Sansho is Sansho Enen.

Hekiganroku – Case 69: Nansen Draws a Circle

Nansen, Kisu and Mayoku set out together to pay their respects to the National
Teacher Chu. On their way Nansen drew a circle on the ground and said,
“If you can say something, then let’s go farther.”
Kisu seated himself [1] in the circle. Mayoku made an informal bow. Nansen
said,
“If it is so, then let’s not go any farther.”
Kisu said,
“What is this all about?”

[1]: I.e., in Zazen posture.

Hekiganroku – Case 70: Isan’s “Speak, Master”

Isan, Goho and Ungan were all attending upon Hyakujo. Hyakujo asked Isan,
“How does one speak with one’s lips and throat closed?”
Isan said,
“I’d rather have you speak, Master.”
Hyakujo said,
“I might as well speak to you, but then, I would lose my Dharma descendants.”

Hekiganroku – Case 71: Goho’s “Close!”

Hyakujo said to Goho,
“How does one speak with one’s lips and throat closed?” [1]
Goho said,
“You too, Master, should close your lips and throat.”
Hyakujo said,
“Where there is no one, I will shade my eyes with my hand [2] and look
up to you respectfully.”

[1]: Cf case 70.
[2]: A gesture expressing admiration.

Hekiganroku – Case 72: Ungan’s “Can You?”

Hyakujo said to Ungan,
“How does one speak with one’s lips and throat closed?” [1]
Ungan said,
“Can you, Master, do such a thing?”
Hyakujo said,
“Now I will lose my Dharma descendants.”

[1]: cf cases 70 and 71

Hekiganroku – Case 73: Ba and “One Hundred Negations” [1]

A monk asked Great Master Ba,
“Apart from the Four Phrases, beyond one hundred Negations [2], please
tell me directly, Master, the meaning of Bodhidharma’s coming from
the West.”
Master Ba said,
“I am tired today, I can’t explain it to you. Go and ask Chizo.”
The monk asked Chizo about it. Chizo said,
“Why don’t you ask our master?”
The monk said,
“He told me to ask you.”
Chizo said,
“I have a headache today, I can’t explain it to you. Go and ask Brother Kai.”
The monk asked Brother Kai about it. Kai said,
“I don’t understand nothing about that question.”
The monk told Great Master Ba about it. Great Master said,
“Chizo’s head is white, Kai’s head is black.”

[1]: Cf. case 6 in the Shoyoroku.
[2]: I.e., free from all theories and concepts.

Hekiganroku – Case 74: Kingyu’s Rice Bucket

At each meal, Master Kingyu himself would bring the rice bucket to the front
of the Zen hall, dance there and laugh loudly, saying,
“Dear Bodhisattvas, come and eat rice!”
(Setcho said, “Although he behaved that way, he was not being kind.”)
A monk asked Chokei,
“An ancient worthy said, ‘Dear Bodhisattvas, come and eat rice.’ What
does it mean?”
Chokei said,
“That is exactly like praising and giving thanks to the rice.”

Hekiganroku – Case 75: Ukyu’s Blind Stick

A monk came from Master Joshu [1] to Ukyu. Ukyu asked,
“What is the difference between Joshu’s Dharma-way and the Dharma-way here?”
The monk said,
“There is no difference.”
Ukyu said,
“If there isn’t any difference, return to him again,”
and hit him. The monk said,
“Your stick should have an eye. You should not hit a person so recklessly.”
Ukyu said,
“Today I hit a right man,”
and he hit him three more times. The monk went out immediately. Ukyu said,
“There is a fellow who well deserves a blind stick.”
The monk turned and said,
“What shall I do, as the stick is in your hand?”
Ukyu said,
“If you need it, I will give it to you.”
The monk approached him, snatched the stick from his hand and hit him three
times. Ukyu said,
“Blind stick, blind stick!”
The monk said,
“There is a fellow who well deserves it.”
Ukyu said,
“I have hit a real man quite wantonly.”
Then the monk promptly made a bow. Ukyu said,
“Master, is that all right for you?”
The monk laughed loudly and went away. Ukyu said,
“Is that right, is that right!”

[1]: This is not the famous master Joshu Jushin in the Mumonkan, etc., but
Master Joshu Sekizo (718-800).

Case 76: Tanka’s “Eating Rice”

Tanka asked a monk,
“Where have you come from?”
The monk answered,
“From the foot of the mountain.”
Tanka asked,
“Have you eaten your rice?”
The monk said,
“Yes I have eaten it.”
Tanka said,
“The one who brought rice and gave it to you to eat did he have an
[enlightened] eye?”
The monk said nothing.

Chokei asked Hofuku,
“Surely it is an act of thanksgiving [1] to bring rice and give it to the
people to eat. How then is it possible not to have an [enlightened] eye?”
Hofuku said,
“Server and receiver are both blind.”
Chokei said,
“Even if one has done everything, does one still remain blind, or not?”
Hofuku said,
“Do you call me blind?”

[1]: That is, for the guidance already received from buddhas, patriarchs and
masters.

Hekiganroku – Case 77: Unmon’s “Rice Cake”

A monk asked Unmon,
“What is meant by the pronouncement ‘to go beyond the Buddha and the
patriarchs’?”
Unmon said,
“Rice cake [1].”

[1]: In Japanese: kobyo.

Hekiganroku – Case 78: The Boddhisattvas Take a Bath

In the old days there were sixteen bodhisattvas. When the monks took a bath,
they too entered the bath according to their custom. At once they realized
the cause of water. Now, my Zen friends, how do you understand this? [1]
The bodhisattvas said, “Wonderful feeling! Perfectly clear! We have attained
the dwelling place of the children of Buddha.” You can attain it — only by
breaking through seven times and digging through eight times.

[1]: It is Setcho who speaks here.

Case 79: Tosu and “the Buddha’s Voices”

A monk asked Tosu,
“It is said, ‘All voices are the voices of the Buddha.’ Is it true or not?”
Tosu said,
“It is true.”
The monk said,
“Master, don’t fart around so loudly.”
Thereupon, Tosu hit him. He asked again,
“It is said, ‘Rough words and gentle phrases return to the first principle.’
Is this true or not?”
Tosu said,
“It is true.”
The monk said,
“May I call you, Master, a donkey?”
Thereupon, Tosu hit him.

Hekiganroku – Case 80: Joshu and a “Newborn Infant”

A monk asked Joshu,
“Does a newborn infant have the Six Functions [1] or not?”
Joshu said,
“Throwing a ball on the swift current.”
The monk asked also Tosu,
“What does ‘throwing a ball on the swift current’ mean?”
Tosu said,
“Every consciousness flows without ceasing.”

[1]: Cf. the note to case 47.

Hekiganroku – Case 81: Yakusan’s “Look! The Arrow!”

A monk asked Yakusan,
“On the grassy plain there gather great and small deer. How can one shoot
the greatest deer of them all?”
Yakusan said,
“Look! The arrow!”
The monk threw himself on the floor. Yakusan said,
“Attendants! Carry this dead fellow out of here.”
Thereupon, the monk ran away. Yakusan said,
“This fellow will keep playing with mud balls for ever and ever!”

(Setcho took up this story and said,
“He is alive for three steps, but he should die with the fifth step.”)

Case 82: Dairyu and the “Dharma-Body”

A monk asked Dairyu,
“The phenomenal body perishes. What is the Dharma-body which remains solid?”
Dairyu said,
“The autumn foliage of the mountains spreads like brocade;
the water in the valley remains blue as indigo.”

Hekiganroku – Case 83: The Old Buddha and a Pillar

Unmon, instructing the assembly, said,
“The old buddha and a pillar intersect each other. What number of
activity is that?”
On behalf of the assembly he said,
“Clouds gather over the South Mountain; rain falls on the North Mountain.”

Hekiganroku – Case 84: Vimalakirti and “Not-Two”

Vimalakirti asked Manjusri,
“What does it mean that the Bodhisattva enters the Dharma-gate of Not-Two?”
Manjusri said,
“I see it like this: in all phenomena, there are neither words nor
explanations, neither presentations nor knowledge; it is beyond all
questions and answers. That is what I understand with ‘to enter the
Dharma-gate of Not-Two’.” ….
Then Manjusri asked Vimalakirti,
“All of us have finished giving our explanations. Now you should give your
explanation. What does it mean that the Bodhisattva enters the
Dharma-gate of Not-Two?”

(Setcho said, “What did Vimalakirti say?” Again he said, “Seen through!”)

Case 85: Toho and the “Tiger”

A monk came to the hermit Toho and asked,
“What if you suddenly faced a tiger here?”
The hermit roared like a tiger. Thereupon the monk pretended to be frightened.
The hermit laughed loudly. The monk said,
“You old robber!”
The hermit said,
“What can you do to me?”
The monk said nothing further.

(Setcho said,
“They are certainly right, but these two evil robbers only know how to
steal a small bell while they stop their ears.”)

Hekiganroku – Case 86: Unmon’s “Bright Light”

Unmon, giving instruction, said,
“Everyone has his own bright light. When you look at it, you can’t see it;
it is complete darkness. Now, what is your bright light?”
He himself answered on behalf of the monks,
“The kitchen and the entrance gate.”
Again he said,
“It would be better not to have even the best things.”

Hekiganroku – Case 87: Unmon’s “Medicine and Disease”

Unmon, instructing the assembly, said,
“Medicine and disease correspond to each other. The whole earth is
medicine. What is your true self?”

Case 88: Gensha’s “Three Diseases”

Gensha, instructing the assembly, said,
“All old masters said, ‘Attend to the living beings and save them.’
Suppose you face three people with different diseases, how would you
attend to them? The blind person can’t see, even if you take up a gavel
or raise a whisk. The deaf person can’t hear, even if you speak beautiful
phrases. The dumb person can’t speak, even if you ask him to speak up.
How would you attend to them? If you cannot attend to these people,
Buddhist Dharma has no true efficacy.”
A monk asked Unmon about this. Unmon said, “Make a deep bow.” The monk made a
deep bow and stood up. Unmon poked his staff at him. The monk retreated.
Unmon said, “So you are not blind.” Further he said, “Come here.” The monk
came closer to him. Unmon said, “So you are not deaf.” Then he said,
“Have you understood?”
The monk said,
“No.”
Unmon said,
“So you are not dumb.”
With that, the monk came to an insight.

Hekiganroku – Case 89: Ungan’s “Hands and Eyes”

Ungan asked Dogo,
“What does the Bodhisattva of the Great Mercy use so many hands and eyes for?”
Dogo answered,
“It is like a person in the middle of the night reaching with his hand behind
his head groping for his pillow.”
Ungan said,
“I understood.”
Dogo said,
“How did you understand it?”
Ungan said,
“The whole body is hands and eyes.”
Dogo said,
“You said it very well. But you expressed only eight-tenths of it.”
Ungan said,
“How would you say it, Elder Brother?”
Dogo said,
“The entire body is hands and eyes.”

Hekiganroku – Case 90: Chimon and the “Prajna Wisdom”

A monk asked Chimon,
“What is the substance of Prajna Wisdom?”
Chimon said,
“The clam swallows the bright moon.” [1]
The monk asked,
“What is the use of Prajna Wisdom?”
Chimon said,
“A female rabbit becomes pregnant.” [2]

[1]: A Chinese metaphor expressing how a pearl is formed.
[2]: According to a Chinese legend, a female rabbit becomes pregnant when it
swallows the light of the full moon.

Hekiganroku – Case 91: Enkan and the “Rhinoceros”

One day, Enkan called to his attendant,
“Bring me the rhinoceros fan.”
The attendant said,
“It is broken.”
Enkan said,
“If the fan is already broken, bring me the rhinoceros himself.”
The attendant gave no answer. [1]

Tosu said,
“I wouldn’t mind bringing that, but the horn on its head would not be
complete.”
(Setcho said, “I need to see that incomplete horn.”)
Sekiso said,
“If I brought it back to you, nothing would remain [for me].”
(Setcho said, “That rhinoceros is still there.”)
Shifuku drew a circle and wrote the ideograph “ox[2]” in it.
(Setcho said, “Why didn’t you bring it out sooner?)
Hofuku said,
“Master, you are so advanced in years. Please engage someone else.” [3]
(Setcho said, “Regrettable! All efforts have proved fruitless!”)

[1]: To this episode the following Zen personalities give their answers on
behalf of the attendant.
[2]: The Chinese character for “ox” (gyu) is one of the two characters for
“rhinoceros” (saigyu = sai + gyu).
[3]: [Since the task you give me is too harsh.]

Hekiganroku – Case 92: The Buddha Ascends to the Rostrum

One day, the World-Honored One ascended to the rostrum. Monjusri struck the
table with the gavel and said,
“Contemplate clearly the Dharma of the Dharma-King! The Dharma of
the Dharma-King is like this.”
Thereupon, the World-Honored One descended from the rostrum.

Hekiganroku – Case 93: Taiko Dances

A monk asked Taiko,
“Chokei said, ‘That is exactly like thanksgiving at lunch.’ [1]
What did he mean?”
Taiko danced. The monk made a deep bow. Taiko said,
“What have you seen that makes you bow like that?”
The monk danced. Taiko said,
“You stupid fox! [2]”

[1]: cf case 74.
[2]: Cf. the term “fox Zen”, which means mere imitation (cf. Case 2 in the
Mumonkan)

Case 94: “Non-Seeing” in the Ryogon Sutra

The Ryogon Sutra says,
“When I don’t see, why do you not see what I do not see? If you [argue
that you] see what I do not see, that is of course not what I do not see.
If you do not see what I do not see, then it is quite natural that it
is not a thing. Why is it not your self?”

Hekiganroku – Case 95: Chokei’s “Three Poisons”

One day Chokei said,
“Even if you argue that an arhat [1] still possesses ‘the three poisons’,
don’t argue that the Tathagata has two sorts of language. I do not say
the Tathagata has no words. I only say he does not have two kinds
of language.”
Hofuku said,
“What are the words of the Tathagata?”
Chokei said,
“How can a deaf man hear?”
Hofuku said,
“Now I know that your language belongs to the second level.”
Chokei said,
“What are the words of the Tathagata?”
Hofuku said,
“Have some tea.”

[1]: An arhat is a sacred person who has reached the spiritual dimension
without any traces of “the three poisons”: covetousness, anger, folly.

Hekiganroku – Case 96: Joshu’s Three Turning Words [1]

Joshu showed the assembly three turning words:
“The Buddha made of clay will not pass through water.”
“The Buddha made of metal will not pass through a furnace.”
“The Buddha made of wood will not pass through fire.”

[1]: Cf. case 19 in the Miscellaneous Koans.

Case 97: “Getting Despised” in the Diamond Sutra

The Diamond Sutra says,
“It is about getting despised by other people. If you are to come into hell
because of your sins in your previous life, these sins will be extinguished
because you are despised by the people of this world.”

Hekiganroku – Case 98: Tempyo’s Two “Wrong”s

Master Tempyo was on an angya [1] and visited Sai’in. (He was always saying,
“Don’t say you have understood Buddhism. I have sought after someone who
could give correct explanations, but in vain.”)
One day, Sai’in saw him at a distance and summoned him,
“Jyui! [2]”
Tempyo raised his head. Sai’in said,
“Wrong!”
Tempyo went on a couple more steps. Sai’in said again,
“Wrong!”
Tempyo came closer. Sai’in said,
“I have just said, ‘Wrong!’ twice. Does it mean that it is I
who am wrong, or it is you?”
Tempyo said,
“It is I.”
Sai’in said,
“Wrong!”
Tempyo said nothing. Sai’in said,
“Please stay here for the summer [3]. I’ll examine the two ‘Wrong!’s with
you.”
However, Tempyo immediately left him.

Later he was the abbot of his own temple and said to his assembly,
“As I was once on an angya, I was driven by the wind of fate and came to
Elder Shimyo [4], who cried to me, ‘Wrong!’. Moreover, he demanded that
I stay with him for the summer to examine this matter with him. I didn’t
believe I had done anything wrong then. But when I was on my way down
south, I realized quickly that I had done something entirely ‘wrong’.”

[1]: A traditional pilgrimage in order to deepen the practice.
[2]: Tempyo’s personal name.
[3]: I.e., a summer sesshin for three months.
[4]: I.e., Sai’in.

Hekiganroku – Case 99: Shukuso and the “Buddha with the Ten Bodies”

Emperor Shukuso asked the National Teacher Echu,
“What is the Buddha with the ten bodies who guides the living beings?”
The National Teacher said,
“Sir! Go beyond the head of Vairokana [1].”
The emperor said,
“I don’t understand it.”
The National Teacher said,
“Never consider yourself to be even the pure Dharma-body.”

[1]: The Buddha of the pure Dharma-body.

Case 100: Haryo and the “Sharpest Sword” [1]

A monk asked Haryo,
“What is the sharpest sword?”
Haryo said,
“The moon sits on each branch of the coral.”

[1]: Cf. case 22 (c) in the Miscellaneous Koans.

A collection of 100 koans

Shoyoroku (E. Book of Serenity, C. Ts’ung-jung lu)
A collection of 100 koans, originally compiled in the 12th century by Wanshi Shogaku (C. Hung-chih Cheng-chüeh).

1. The Buddha Ascends To The Rostrum
4. The World Honored One Points To The Ground
7. Yakusan Ascends The Rostrum
10. An Old Woman Near Taizan
13. Rinzai’s Blind Donkey
16. Mayoku Shook The Ring-Staff
19. Unmon’s Mount Sumeru
22. Ganto’s Bow To The Kaatz
25. Enkan’s Rhinoceros Fan
28. Gokoku’s Three Disgraces
31. Unmon’s Pillar
34. Fuketsu’s Speck Of Dust
37. Isan’s Karma-Consciousness
40. Unmon’s White And Black
43. Razan’s Appearing And Disappearing
46. Tokusan’s Study Accomplished
49. Tozan And the Memorial Service
52. Sozan’s Dharma-Body
55. Seppo In Charge Of Cooking
58. Getting Despised In The Diamond Sutra
61. Kempo’s One Line
64. Shisho’s Succession
67. The Wisdom In The Kegon Sutra
70. Shinsan Asks About Nature
73. Sozan’s Filial Fulfillment
76. Shuzan’s Three Verses
79. Chosa Takes A Step
82. Unmon’s Voice And Color
85. The National Teacher’s Gravestone
88. Non-Seeing In The Ryogon Sutra
91. Nansen And The Peonies
94. Tozan Unwell
97. Emperor Doko’s Helmet Hood
100. Roya’s Mountains And Rivers
2. Bodhidharma’s Clear And Void
5. Seigen’s Price Of Rice
8. Hyakujo And The Fox
11. Unmon’s Two Diseases
14. Attendant Kaku Offers Tea
17. Hogen’s Hairsbreadth
20. Jizo’s Most Intimate
23. Roso Faces The Wall
26. Kyozan Points To Snow
29. Fuketsu’s Iron Ox
32. Kyozan’s Mind And Objective World
35. Rakuho’s Obeisance
38. Rinzai’s True Person
41. Rakuho At His Deathbed
44. Koyo s Suparnin
47. Joshu’s Oak Tree In The Garden
50. Seppo’s What Is This
53. Obaku’s Drinkers
56. Misshi And The White Rabbit
59. Seirin’s Deadly Snake
62. Beiko’s Enlightenment
65. Shuzan’s Bride
68. Kassan Brandishes The Sword
71. Suigan’s Eyebrows
74. Hogen’s Form And Name
77. Kyozan As His Profession Requires
80. Suibi And The Chin Rest
83. Dogo’s Nursing The Ill
86. Rinzai’s Great Enlightenment
89. Tozan’s Place Of No Grass
92. Unmon’s One Treasure
95. Rinzai Draws A Line
98. Tozan’s Intimate With It
 
3. The Indian King Invites The Patriarch
6. Ba And One Hundred Negations
9. Nansen Kills A Cat
12. Jizo Plants The Rice Field
15. Kyozan Thrusts His Hoe Into The Ground
18. Joshu’s Dog
21. Ungan Sweeps The Ground
24. Seppo’s Look At The Snake
27. Hogen Points To The Bamboo Blinds
30. Daizui’s Kalpa Fire
33. Sansho’s Golden Scales
36. Master Ba Is Ill
39. Joshu’s Wash Your Bowls
42. Nanyo And The Water Jug
45. Four Phrases From The Engaku Sutra
48. Vimalakirti’s Not Two
51. Hogen’s Boat Or Land
54. Ungan’s Great Mercy
57. Gonyo’s one thing
60. Tetsuma The Cow
63. Joshu Asks About Death
66. Kyuho’s Head And Tail
69. Nansen’s Cats And Oxen
72. Chuyu’s Monkey
75. Zuigan’s Everlasting Principle
78. Unmon’s Rice Cake
81. Gensha Reaches The Province
84. Gutei’s One Finger
87. Sozan With Or Without
90. Kyozan Speaks Out
93. Roso Does Not Understand
96. Kyuho Does Not Acknowledge
99. Unmon’s Bowl And Pail
 

One day, the World-Honored One ascended to the rostrum. Manjusri struck the
table with the gavel and said,
“Contemplate clearly the Dharma of the Dharma-King! The Dharma of
the Dharma-King is like this.”
Thereupon, the World-Honored One descended from the rostrum.

[1]: i.e. the Buddha.
[2]: see case 92 of Hekiganroku.

Case 2: Bodhidharma’s “Vast and Void” [1]

Emperor Bu of Ryo asked Great Master Bodhidharma,
“What is the highest meaning of the holy reality?”
Bodhidharma replied,
“Vast and void, no holiness.”
The emperor said,
“Who are you in front of me?”
Bodhidharma said,
“I don’t know.”
The emperor did not match him.

Finally, Bodhidharma crossed the Yangtse River and came to the Shorin Temple.
There he sat for nine years, facing the wall.

[1]: see case 1 of Hekiganroku.

Case 3: The Indian King Invites the Patriarch

A king of Eastern India invited the twenty-seventh patriarch, Prajna Tara,
for a meal. The king asked,
“Why don’t you recite sutras?”
The patriarch said,
“The poor way [1] does not stay in the world of subject when breathing in,
and has nothing to do with the world of objects when breathing out. I am
always reciting the suchness-sutra in millions and millions of volumes.”

[1]: i.e., “I.”

Case 4: The World-Honored One Points to the Ground

When the World-Honored One was walking with his assembly, he pointed to the
ground with his hand and said,
“This place is good for building a temple.”
Indra [1] took a stalk of grass and stuck it in the ground and said,
“The temple has been built.”
The World-Honored One smiled.

[1]: Exactly: Sakra Devendra. The lord god of the Trayastrimasa Heaven.

Case 5: Seigen’s “Price of Rice”

A monk asked Seigen,
“What is the essence of Buddhism?”
Seigen said,
“What is the price of rice in Roryo?”

Case 6: Master Ba’s “White and Black” [1]

A monk asked Great Master Ba,
“Apart from the Four Phrases, beyond one hundred Negations, please
tell me directly, Master, the meaning of Bodhidharma’s coming from
the West.”
Master Ba said,
“I am tired today, I can’t explain it to you. Go and ask Chizo.”
The monk asked Chizo about it. Chizo said,
“Why don’t you ask our master?”
The monk said,
“He told me to ask you.”
Chizo said,
“I have a headache today, I can’t explain it to you. Go and ask Brother Kai.”
The monk asked Brother Kai about it. Kai said,
“I don’t understand nothing about that question.”
The monk told Great Master Ba about it. Great Master said,
“Chizo’s head is white, Kai’s head is black.”

[1]: see case 73 of Hekiganroku.


Case 7: Yakusan Ascends the Rostrum

Yakusan had not ascended the rostrum for a long time. The temple steward said,
“All the assembly has been wishing for instruction for a long time. Please,
Master, give your assembly a sermon.”
Yakusan had the bell rung. The assembly gathered. Yakusan ascended the rostrum
and sat there for a while. Then he descended and returned to his room. The
temple steward followed him and asked,
“You said a while ago that you would give the assembly a sermon. Why
didn’t you speak even a word?”
Yakusan said,
“For sutras, there are sutra specialists; for sastras [1], there are
sastra specialists. Why do you have doubts about this old monk [2] ?”

[1]: Books on Buddhist doctrines, written by ancient Buddhist philosophers.
[2]: i.e. Yakusan.

Case 8: Hyakujo and the Fox [1]

Whenever Master Hyakujo delivered a sermon, an old man was always there
listening with the monks. When they left, he left too. One day, however, he
remained behind. Hyakujo asked him,
“What man are you, standing there?”
The old man replied,
“In the past, in the time of Kashyapa Buddha, I lived on this mountain as a
Zen priest. Once a monk came and asked me, ‘Does a perfectly enlightened
person fall under the law of cause and effect or not?’ I said to him,
‘He does not.’ Because of this answer, I fell into the state of a fox for
500 lives. Now, I beg you, Master, please say a turning word.”
Hyakujo said,
“The law of cause and effect cannot be obscured.”
Upon hearing this, the old man became greatly enlightened.

[1]: see case 2 of Mumonkan.

Case 9: Nansen Kills a Cat [1]

Once the monks of the eastern and western Zen halls in Nansen’s temple were
quarrelling about a cat. As he saw this, Nansen held up the cat and said,
“You monks! If one of you can say a word, I will not slay the cat.”
No one could answer. Nansen cut the cat in two. Nansen told Joshu what had
happened, and asked him for his view. Joshu thereupon took his sandals, put
them upon his head and went away. Nansen said,
“If you had been there, I could have spared the cat.”

[1]: see case 14 of Mumonkan and cases 63 and 64 of Hekiganroku.

Case 10: An Old Woman near Taizan [1]

There was an old woman on the way to Taizan. Whenever a monk asked her how to
get to Taizan, she would answer, “Go straight on.” After the monk had gone a
few steps, she would say, “This good and naïve fellow goes off that way, too.”
Later a monk told Joshu about this. Joshu said,
“Wait a bit. I will go and see through her for you.”
He went and asked the same question. The next day, Joshu ascended the rostrum
and said,
“I have seen through the old woman for you.”

[1]: see case 31 of Mumonkan.

Case 11: Unmon’s “Two Diseases”

Great Master Unmon said,
“When the light does not penetrate, there are two diseases. Everything is
unclear and things hang before you: this is one disease. Even after you
have realized the emptiness of all things, somehow you feel as if there were
still something there. This shows that the light has not yet penetrated
thoroughly.
Also there are two diseases concerning the Dharma-body. You have reached the
Dharma-body, but you remain attached to the Dharma and cannot extinguish your
own view; therefore you lead a corrupt life around the Dharma-body: this is
one disease. Suppose you have truly penetrated to the end, if you give up
further efforts, it will not do. You examine yourself minutely and say you
have no flaw: this is nothing but a disease.”

Case 12: Jizo Plants the Rice Field

Jizo asked Shuzanshu,
“Where have you come from?”
Shuzanshu said,
“I have come from the South.”
Jizo said,
“How is Buddhism in the South these days?”
Shuzanshu said,
“There is much lively discussion.”
Jizo said,
“How could that match with our planting the rice field here and making
rice-balls to eat?”
Shuzanshu said,
“How could you then save the beings of the Three Worlds?”
Jizo said,
“What do you call ‘the Three Worlds’?”

Case 13: Rinzai’s “Blind Donkey”

When Rinzai was about to die, he entrusted Sansho with his Dharma and said,
“After my passing, do not destroy my treasury of the Eye of the true
Dharma [1].”
Sansho said,
“How would I dare destroy your treasury of the Eye of the true Dharma?”
Rinzai said,
“If someone asks you about it, how will you answer?”
Sansho instantly shouted his Kaatz. Rinzai said,
“Who knows that my treasury of the Eye of the true Dharma has been
destroyed by this blind donkey?”

[1]: Originally: shobogenzo.

Case 14: Attendant Kaku Offers Tea

Attendant Kaku asked Tokusan,
“Where have all the past saints gone?”
Tokusan said,
“What? What?”
Kaku said,
“I gave the command for an excellent horse like a flying dragon to spring
forth, but there came out only a lame tortoise.”
Tokusan was silent. The next day, when Tokusan came out of the bath, Kaku
served him tea. Tokusan passed his hand gently over Kaku’s back. Kaku said,
“This old fellow has gotten a glimpse for the first time.”
Again, Tokusan was silent.

Case 15: Kyozan Thrusts His Hoe into the Ground

Isan asked Kyozan,
“Where have you come from?”
Kyozan said,
“From the rice field.”
Isan said,
“How many people are there in the rice field?”
Kyozan thrust his hoe into the ground and stood with his hands folded on his
chest. Isan said,
“There are a great number of people cutting thatch on the South Mountain.”
Kyozan took up his hoe and left immediately.

Case 16: Mayoku Shook the Ring-Staff [1]

Mayoku, with his ring-staff in hand, came to Shokei. He circled Shokei’s dais
three times, shook the ring-staff and stood there bolt upright. Shokei said,
“Right, right!”
Mayoku then came to Nansen. He circled Nansen’s dais three times, shook the
ring-staff and stood there bolt upright. Nansen said,
“Not right, not right!”
Then, Mayoku said,
“Master Shokei said, ‘Right, right!’ Why, Master, do you say, ‘Not right,
not right!’?”
Nansen said,
“With Shokei it is right, but with you it is not right. This is nothing
but a whirling of the wind. In the end, it will perish.”

[1]: see case 31 of Hekiganroku.

Case 17: Hogen’s “Hairsbreadth”

Hogen asked Shuzanshu,
“‘If there is only a hairsbreadth of difference, it is the distance between
heaven and earth.'[1] How do you understand that?”
Shuzanshu said,
“If there is only a hairsbreadth of difference, it is the distance between
heaven and earth.”
Hogen said,
“If that’s your understanding, how could you ever attain IT?”
Shuzanshu said,
“My view is just that. How about you, Master?”
Hogen said,
“If there only is a hairsbreadth of difference, it is the distance between
heaven and earth.”
Shuzanshu made a deep bow.

[1]: Cited from the Shinjinmei (A Hymn of Sincere Mind), a work by the Third
Patriarch Sosan. See also Miscellaneous Koans 21-2.

Case 18: Joshu’s Dog [1]

A monk asked Joshu,
“Does the dog have buddha-nature, or not?”
Joshu said,
“It has” [U].
The monk said,
“If it has it, why did it creep into that skin bag?”
Joshu said,
“Because it does so knowingly.”
Another monk asked,
“Does the dog have buddha-nature, or not?”
Joshu said,
“It has not” [Mu].
The monk said,
“All living beings have buddha-nature [2]. Why doesn’t the dog have any?”
Joshu said,
“Because it is in its karma-consciousness.”

[1]: see case 1 of Mumonkan: the Shoyoroku case presents a fuller text of
the dialogue.
[2]: Quotation from the Nirvana Sutra 7, 25.

Case 19: Unmon’s “Mt. Sumeru”

A monk asked Unmon,
“Not a single thought arises: is there any fault or not?”
Unmon said,
“Mt. Sumeru. [1]”

[1]: The highest and most massive mountain in the world according to the
Indian cosmology.

Case 20: Jizo’s “Most Intimate”

Jizo asked Hogen,
“Where are you going, senior monk? [1]”
Hogen said,
“I am on pilgrimage [2], following the wind.”
Jizo said,
“What are you on pilgrimage for?”
Hogen said,
“I don’t know.”
Jizo said,
“Non knowing is most intimate.”
Hogen suddenly attained great enlightenment.

[1]: “Senior monk” (joza) is an honorific for a monk who has practiced more
than 10 years.
[2]: Originally: angya.

Case 21: Ungan Sweeps the Ground

When Ungan was sweeping the ground, Dogo said,
“You are having a hard time!”
Ungan said,
“You should know there is one who doesn’t have a hard time.”
Dogo said,
“If that’s true, you mean there is a second moon?”
Ungan held up his broom and said,
“What number of moon is this?”
Dogo was silent.
Gensha said,
“That is precisely the second moon.”
Unmon said,
“The servant greets the maid politely.”

Case 22: Ganto’s Bow to the Kaatz

Ganto came to Tokusan. He straddled the threshold of the gate and asked,
“Is this ordinary or is this holy?”
Tokusan shouted,
“Kaatz!”
Ganto made a deep bow.
Hearing of this, Tozan said,
“Hardly anyone but Ganto could have accepted it that way.”
Ganto said,
“Old Tozan can’t tell between good and bad. At that time, I raised up with
one hand and suppressed with the other.”

Case 23: Roso Faces the Wall

Whenever Roso saw a monk coming, he immediately sat facing the wall. Hearing
of this, Nansen said,
“I usually tell my people to realize what has existed before the kalpa of
emptiness [1], or to understand what has been before Buddhas appeared in
the world. Still, I haven’t acknowledged one disciple or even a half. If
he continues that way, he will go on even until the year of the donkey [2].”

[1]: One of the “four kalpas” or periods of cosmic changes: the kalpa of
creation, the kalpa of existence, the kalpa of destruction, and the kalpa
of emptiness.
[2]: Since there is no “year of the donkey” in the Chinese zodiac, the
expression “until the year of donkey” means endlessly.

Case 24: Seppo’s “Look at the Snake” [1]

Seppo, instructing the assembly, said,
“There’s a poisonous snake on the southern side of the mountain. All of you
should look at it carefully!”
Chokei said,
“Today in the Zen hall there are many people. They have lost their body
and life.”
A monk told this to Gensha, who said,
“Only Elder Brother Ryo [2] could say something like that. However,
I wouldn’t talk like that.”
The monk asked,
“What then would you say, Master”?
Gensha replied,
“Why does it have to be ‘the southern side of the mountain’?”
Unmon threw his staff in front of Seppo and acted frightened.

[1]: see case 22 of Hekiganroku.
[2]: i.e. Chokei.

Case 25: Enkan’s “Rhinoceros Fan” [1]

One day, Enkan called to his attendant,
“Bring me the rhinoceros fan.”
The attendant said,
“It is broken.”
Enkan said,
“If the fan is already broken, bring me the rhinoceros himself.”
The attendant gave no answer.
Shifuku drew a circle and wrote the ideograph “ox [2]” in it.

[1]: see case 91 of Hekiganroku.
[2]: The Chinese character for “ox” (gyu) is one of the two characters for
“rhinoceros” (saigyu = sai + gyu).

Case 26: Kyozan Points to Snow

Kyozan pointed to the snow lion [1] and said,
“Is there any [2] that goes beyond this color?”
Unmon said [3],
“I would have pushed it over for him at once.”
Setcho said [4],
“He only knows how to push it over, but he doesn’t know how to help it up.”

[1]: Probably a lion made of snow or a stone lion covered with snow.
[2]: I.e., “anyone” or “anything.”
[3]: I.e., later.
[4]: I.e., hearing of this.

Case 27: Hogen Points to the Bamboo Blinds [1]

Hogen pointed to the bamboo blinds with his hand. At that moment, two monks
who were there went over to the blinds together and rolled them up.
Hogen said,
“One has gained, one has lost.”

[1]: see case 26 of Mumonkan.

Case 28: Gokoku’s “Three Disgraces”

A monk asked Gokoku,
“How about when a crane perches on a withered pine tree?”
Gokoku said,
“It is a disgrace when seen from the ground.”
The monk asked,
“What about when every drop of water is frozen at once?”
Gokoku said,
“It’s a disgrace after the sun has risen.”
The monk asked,
“At the time of the Esho Persecution [1], where did the good Guardian
Deities [2] of the Dharma go?”
Gokoku said,
“It is a disgrace for the two of them on both sides of the temple gate.”

[1]: Buddhism was suppressed by order of Emperor Bu (about 840).
[2]: Nio-figures representing the two Deva kings on each side of the main gate
of a Buddhist temple. They are considered to be protectors of the Dharma.

Case 29: Fuketsu’s “Iron Ox” [1]

When he was staying at the government office of the Province Ei, Fuketsu
entered the hall [to preach] and said,
“The heart seal [stamp] of the patriarch resembles the activity of the iron
ox. When it goes away, the [impression of the] seal remains; when it stays
there, the [impression of the] seal is brought to naught. If it neither
goes away nor stays, would it be right to give a seal [of approval] or not?”

Then Elder Rohi came up and said,
“I have the activities of the iron ox. [However,] I ask you, Master, not to
give me the seal.”

Fuketsu said,
“I am accustomed to leveling the great ocean through fishing whales. But,
alas, now I find instead a frog wriggling about in the mud.”

Rohi stood there considering.

Fuketsu shouted
“Kaatz!”
and said,
“Why don’t you say anything else, Elder?”

Rohi was perplexed.

Fuketsu hit him with his whisk and said,
“Do you remember what you said? Say something, I’ll check it for you.”

Rohi tried to say something. Fuketsu hit him again with his whisk.

The Magistrate said,
“Buddha’s law and the King’s law are of the same nature.”

Fuketsu said,
“What principle do you see in them?”

The Magistrate said,
“If you do not make a decision where a decision should be made, you are
inviting disorder.”

Fuketsu descended from the rostrum.

[1]: see case 38 of Hekiganroku.

Case 30: Daizui’s “Kalpa Fire” [1]

A monk asked Daizui,
“When the great kalpa fire bursts out, the whole universe [2] will be
destroyed. I wonder if IT will also be destroyed or not.”
Daizui said,
“Destroyed.”
The monk said,
“If so, will IT be gone with the other [3]?”
Daizui said,
“Gone with the other.”

A monk asked Ryusai,
“When the great kalpa fire bursts out, the whole universe will be
destroyed. I wonder if IT will also be destroyed or not.”
Ryusai said,
“Not destroyed.”
The monk said,
“Why is it not destroyed?”
Ryusai said,
“Because it is the same as the whole universe.”

[1]: see case 29 of Hekiganroku: The Shoyoroku case has an additional part
with Ryusai.
[2]: Literally: “a billion worlds.”
[3]: The word “the other” means “the universe.”

Case 31: Unmon’s “Pillar” [1]

Unmon, instructing the assembly, said,
“The old buddha and a pillar intersect each other. What number of
activity is that?”
The assembly was silent. He said on their behalf,
“Clouds gather over the South Mountain; rain falls on the North Mountain.”

[1]: see case 83 Hekiganroku.

Case 32: Kyozan’s Mind and Objective World

Kyozan asked a monk,
“Where do you come from?”
The monk said,
“I am from Yu Province”
Kyozan said,
“Do you think of that place?”
The monk said,
“I always do.”
Kyozan said,
“That which thinks is the mind [1]. That which is thought about is the
objective world. Within that are mountains, rivers and the great earth,
towers, palaces, people, animals, and other things. Reflect upon the mind
that thinks. Are there a lot of things there?”
The monk said,
“I don’t see anything at all there.”
Kyozan said,
“That’s right for the stage of understanding, but not yet for the stage of
personalization.”
The monk said,
“Do you have any special advice, Master?”
Kyozan said,
“It is not right to say that there is or there is not. Your insight shows
that you have obtained only one side of the mystery. Sitting down, putting
on clothes, from now on you see by yourself.”

[1]: Originally: kokoro.

Case 33: Sansho’s “Golden Scales” [1]

Sansho asked Seppo,
“When a fish with golden scales has passed through the net, what should
it get for food?”
Seppo said,
“I will tell you when you have passed through the net.”
Sansho said,
“A great Zen master with 1500 disciples doesn’t know how to speak.”
Seppo said,
“The old monk is just too busy with temple affairs.”

[1]: see case 49 of Hekiganroku.

Case 34: Fuketsu’s “Speck of Dust” [1]

Fuketsu, giving instruction, said,
“If one raises a speck of dust, the house and the nation prosper. If one
does not raise a speck of dust, they perish.”
Setcho held up his staff and said,
“Is there anyone who lives and dies with this?”

[1]: see case 61 Hekiganroku.

Case 35: Rakuho’s Obeisance

Rakuho came to Kassan and without bowing stood facing him. Kassan said,
“A chicken dwells in the phoenix nest. It’s not of the same class. Go away.”
Rakuho said,
“I have come from far away, hearing much about you. Please, Master, I beg
you to guide me.”
Kassan said,
“Before my eyes there is no you, and here there is no old monk [1].”
Rakuho shouted,
“Kaatz!”
Kassan said,
“Stop it, stop it. Don’t be so careless and hasty. Clouds and the moon are
the same; valleys and mountains are different from each other. It is not
difficult to cut off the tongues of the people under heaven. But how can
you make a tongueless person speak?”
Rakuho said nothing. Kassan hit him. With this, Rakuho started to obey Kassan.

[1]: I.e., “I.”

Case 36: Master Ba Is Ill [1]

Great Master Ba was seriously ill. The temple steward asked him,
“Master, how are you feeling these days?”
Great Master said,
“Sun-faced Buddha, Moon-faced Buddha.”

[1]: see case 3 of Hekiganroku.

Case 37: Isan’s “Karma-Consciousness”

Isan asked Kyozan,
“Suppose a man asks you, saying, ‘All living beings are tossed in a vast
karma-consciousness, and have no foundation to rely upon.’ How would
you check him?”
Kyozan said,
“If such a monk appears, I call out to him, ‘Mr. So-and-so!’ When he turns
his head, instantly I say, ‘What is this?’ If he hesitates, then I say to
him, ‘Not only is there a vast karma-consciousness, but also there is no
foundation to rely upon.'”
Isan said,
“Good.”

Case 38: Rinzai’s “True Person”

Rinzai instructed his assembly and said,
“There is one true person of no rank, always coming out and going in
through the gates of your face [1]. Beginners who have not yet witnessed
that, look! look!”
Then a monk came out and asked,
“What is the one true person of no rank?”
Rinzai descended from the rostrum and grabbed him. The monk hesitated.
Rinzai pushed him away and said,
“The true person of no rank — what a shit-stick you are!”

[1]: I.e., sense organs such as eyes, nose, ears, tongue, etc.

Case 39: Joshu’s “Wash Your Bowls” [1]

A monk asked Joshu,
“I have just entered this monastery. I beg you, Master, please give me
instructions.”
Joshu asked,
“Have you eaten your rice gruel yet?”
The monk answered,
“Yes, I have.”
Joshu said,
“Then wash your bowls.”

[1]: see case 7 of Mumonkan.

Case 40: Unmon’s “White and Black”

Unmon asked Kempo,
“May I ask for your answer [1]?”
Kempo said,
“Have you ever reached this old monk or not?”
Unmon said,
“If so, I must say I was too late.”
Kempo said,
“Is that so? Is that so?”
Unmon said,
“I thought I was Marquis White, but I find that here is Marquise Black [2].”

[1]: A literal translation. It is possible to understand the word simply as
“instruction.”
[2]: Marquis White and Marquise Black are noted thieves in Chinese folklore.
Marquise Black, a female thief, seems to have been the cleverer of the two.

Case 41: Rakuho at His Deathbed

When he was about to die, Rakuho addressed his assembly and said,
“I have one matter to ask you about. If you say ‘yes’ to this, you are
putting another head on your own. If you say ‘no,’ you are looking for life
by cutting off your head.”
The head monk said,
“The green mountain always lifts up its legs; you don’t need to carry a
lantern in the daylight.” [1]
Rakuho said,
“What time is this to utter such a saying?”
A senior monk named Genjo stepped forward and said,
“Apart from these two ways, I beg you, Master, not to ask.”
Rakuho said,
“That’s not enough. Say some more.”
Genjo said,
“I cannot say it fully.”
Rakuho said,
“I don’t care whether or not you can say it fully.”
Genjo said,
“I feel just like an attendant who has nothing to respond to his master.” [2]
That evening, Rakuho called Genjo to him and said,
“Your response today had something quite reasonable. You have to realize
what our late master [3] said,
‘There are no dharmas before the eyes,
Yet consciousness is before the eyes.
IT is not the Dharma before the eyes,
IT cannot be reached by eyes and ears.’
Which phrase is the guest? Which phrase is the host? If you can sort them
out, I will transmit the bowl and robe to you.”
Genjo said,
“I don’t understand.”
Rakuho said,
“You must understand.”
Genjo said,
“I really don’t understand.”
Rakuho uttered a kaatz and said,
“Miserable, miserable!”
[Another] monk asked,
“What would you like to say, Master?”
Rakuho said,
“The boat of compassion is not rowed over pure waves. It’s been wasted
labor releasing wooden geese down the precipitous strait [4].”

[1]: Most probably a saying formed by Rakuho himself.
[2]: Apparently an idiomatic expression meaning, “I can’t describe it in words.”
[3]: Rinzai or Kassan.
[4]: It was a custom that the boat rushing down the stream through a gorge
released pieces of wood ahead as a warning so that a possible crash with
the boat coming upstream could be avoided. These wooden chips were
called “wooden geese.”

Case 42: Nanyo and the Water Jug

A monk asked National Teacher Chu of Nanyo,
“What is the essential body [1] of Vairocana Buddha [2]?”
National Teacher said,
“Pass me that water jug.”
The monk passed him the water jug. National Teacher said,
“Put it back where it was.”
The monk asked again,
“What is the essential body of Vairocana Buddha?”
National Teacher said,
“The old Buddha is long gone.”

[1]: The so-called “Dharma-body” or dharmakaya.
[2]: The principal Buddha.

Case 43: Razan’s “Appearing and Disappearing”

Razan asked Ganto,
“What if things appear and disappear without ceasing?”
Ganto scolded him saying,
“Who appears and disappears?”

Case 44: Koyo’s “Suparnin”

A monk asked Master Ho of Koyo,
“The great dragon has emerged from the ocean, calming heaven and earth. How
will you treat him when he suddenly appears before you?”
Master Ho said,
“Suparnin [1], the king of birds, absorbs the entire universe. Who can
stick his head within him?”
The monk said,
“But how about when he does appear?”
Ho said,
“It is like a falcon catching a pigeon. If you don’t realize it, you will
learn the truth through the ‘inspection before the balcony.’ [2]”
The monk said,
“If so, then I’ll fold my hands on my chest and retreat three steps.”
Ho said,
“You black tortoise under the Sumeru altar. [3] Don’t wait to be struck on
the forehead again and get hurt.”

[1]: A giant bird that eats even dragons.
[2]: A reference to a story in which Heigenkun Chosho, the brother of the king
of Cho and a wealthy landlord with 3,000 dependents, built a grand palace
with a balcony that overlooked the main road. One day a crippled person
was passing by and one of the concubines saw him and laughed. The crippled
person was angered and demanded Heigenkun her head. Heigenkun presented
the head of an executed convict as the head of the concubine. His
dependents knew of his deception, lost faith in their master and gradually
all left him. His fortunes declined, so at last he cut off the head of
the concubine and presented it for the crippled person to inspect. After
that the dependents returned and his fortunes were restored. The story is
an allusion to the fact that you can never hide away the real truth.
[3]: A reference to one of the four carved figures, representing black
tortoises, underneath the Sumeru altar (with the Buddha statue). It is
used here as a symbol of someone who has lost the freedom of movement.

Case 45: Four Phrases from the Engaku Sutra

The Engaku [1] Sutra says:
“At all times, you do not raise the delusive mind.
When there are all kinds of illusory thoughts, you do not extinguish them.
Dwelling in the delusory state of mind, you do not add understanding.
Where there is no understanding, you do not distinguish the truth.”

[1]: “Engaku” means the perfect awakening of Buddha.

Case 46: Tokusan’s “Study Accomplished”

Great Master Tokusan Emmyo instructed his assembly and said,
“If you have exhausted to the end, you will realize right away that all
buddhas in the three worlds have stuck their mouths to the wall [1].
Yet there is still one person ¡© he is giving a great laugh. If you can
recognize that person, you have accomplished your study.”

[1]: I.e., they are unable to open their mouths.

Case 47: Joshu’s “Oak Tree in the Garden” [1]

A monk asked Joshu,
“What is the meaning of the patriarch’s coming from the West?”
Joshu said,
“The oak tree there in the garden.”

[1]: see case 37 of Mumonkan.

Case 48: Vimalakirti’s “Not-Two” [1]

Vimalakirti asked Manjusri,
“What does it mean that the Bodhisattva enters the Dharma-gate of Not-Two?”
Manjusri said,
“I see it like this: in all phenomena, there are neither words nor
explanations, neither presentations nor knowledge; it is beyond all
questions and answers. That is what I understand with ‘to enter the
Dharma-gate of Not-Two’.”
Then Manjusri asked Vimalakirti,
“All of us have finished giving our explanations. Now you should give your
explanation. What does it mean that the Bodhisattva enters the
Dharma-gate of Not-Two?”
Vimalakirti remained silent.

[1]: see case 84 of Hekiganroku.

Case 49: Tozan and the Memorial Service

When Tozan held a memorial service for Ungan before his portrait, he mentioned
the episode with the portrait [1]. A monk came forward and asked,
“When Ungan said, ‘Just this!’ what did that mean?”
Tozan said,
“At that time, I almost misunderstood my master’s meaning.”
The monk said,
“I wonder whether or not Ungan really knew that IT is.”
Tozan said,
“If he did not know that it is, how could he say like that? If he knew that
it is, how did he dare say like that?”

[1]: Tozan was still a young monk under Ungan. One day, when he was leaving his
master, he asked Ungan, “After your passing, if I am asked by someone
whether I have your portrait, what should I answer?” Ungan was silent for
a while and then said, “Just this.”

Case 50: Seppo’s “What Is This?” [1]

When Seppo was living in a hermitage, two monks came to pay their respects.
When he saw them coming, Seppo thrust open the gate of his hermitage with his
hands, jumped out, and said,
“What is this?”
The monks also said,
“What is this?”
Seppo hung his head and retired into his hermitage.

Later, the monks came to Ganto. He asked them,
“Where have you come from?”
The monks said,
“From Reinan.”
Ganto said,
“Did you ever visit Seppo?”
The monks said,
“Yes, we visited him.”
Ganto said,
“What did he say?”
The monks related what had happened. Ganto said,
“What else did he say?”
The monks said,
“Not a word; he hung his head and retired into his hermitage.”
Ganto said,
“Oh, how I regret now that in those days I did not tell him the last word!
If I had told it to him, no one under heaven could do anything against him.”

At the end of the summer practice period the monks came back to this
conversation and asked him about its meaning. Ganto said,
“Why didn’t you ask me about it sooner?”
The monks said,
“We could not dare to ask you about it.”
Ganto said,
“Seppo was born on the same stem as I, but he will not die on the same
stem. If you want to know the last word, it is just this.”

[1]: see case 51 of Hekiganroku.

Case 51: Hogen’s “Boat or Land”

Hogen asked Senior Monk Kaku,
“Did you come by boat or by land?”
Kaku said,
“By boat.”
Hogen said,
“Where is the boat?”
Kaku said,
“The boat is on the river.”
After Kaku had withdrawn, Hogen asked a monk nearby,
“You tell me, did that monk who was here just now have the eye or not?”

Case 52: Sozan’s “Dharma-body”

Sozan asked Elder Toku,
“‘The true Dharma-body of Buddha is like the empty sky. It manifests its
form corresponding to things — just like the moon on the water.’ [1]
How do you explain the principle of this corresponding?”
Toku said,
“It is like a donkey looking into a well.”
Sozan said,
“You put it in a nice way, but you were able to say only eighty percent.”
Toku said,
“How about you, Master?”
Sozan said,
“It is like a well looking at a donkey.”

[1]: A quotation from a sutra.

Case 53: Obaku’s “Drinkers” [1]

Obaku instructed the assembly and said,
“You are all drinkers of lees. If you continue to go on your Way like this,
where will the ‘Today’ [2] be? Do you know that in this great empire of
Tang there is no Zen master?”
Now a monk came forward and said,
“What would you say to the fact that in various places there are people who
accept students and direct their assemblies?”
Obaku said,
“I don’t say that there is no Zen; I only say that there is no master.”

[1]: see case 11 of Hekiganroku.
[2]: The world of nirvana.

Case 54: Ungan’s “Great Mercy” [1]

Ungan asked Dogo,
“What does the Bodhisattva of the Great Mercy use so many hands and
eyes for?”
Dogo answered,
“It is like a person in the middle of the night reaching with his hand
behind his head groping for his pillow.”
Ungan said,
“I understood.”
Dogo said,
“How did you understand it?”
Ungan said,
“The whole body is hands and eyes.”
Dogo said,
“You said it very well. But you expressed only eight-tenths of it.”
Ungan said,
“How would you say it, Elder Brother?”
Dogo said,
“The entire body is hands and eyes.”

[1]: see case 89 of Hekiganroku.

Case 55: Seppo in Charge of Cooking [1]

Seppo came to Tokusan and became in charge of cooking food. One day, the lunch
was late. Tokusan came down to the hall carrying his bowls. Seppo said,
“Old Master, the bell has not yet rung nor the drum sounded. Where are you
going with your bowls?”
Thereupon Tokusan went back to his room. Seppo told this to Ganto.
Ganto said,
“Great Tokusan though he is, he has not yet realized the last word.”

Hearing of this, Tokusan sent his attendant to summon Ganto and then asked him,
“Don’t you approve of this old monk?”
Ganto whispered his intention. Tokusan remained silent. Sure enough, the next
day, when Tokusan ascended the rostrum, his talk was quite different from
usual. Ganto, rubbing his hands together, laughed and said,
“Wonderful! How happy I am that our Old Man has realized the last word.
From now on he’ll be subject to no one on earth.”

[1]: see case 13 of Mumonkan.

Case 56: Misshi and the White Rabbit

When Uncle Misshi [1] and Tozan were walking together, they saw a white rabbit
run by in front of them. Misshi said,
“How swift!”
Tozan said,
“In what way?”
Misshi said,
“It is just like a person in white clothes [2] being venerated as a prime
minister.”
Tozan said,
“You are such an elderly and respectable man, and still you say something
like that?”
Misshi said,
“Then how about you?”
Tozan said,
“A noble of an ancient house is temporarily fallen into poverty.”

[1]: Somitsu Zenji, uncle to Tozan Zenji. “Misshi” literally means “Master
Mitsu.”
[2]: I.e., a commoner, or a person without any social status.

Case 57: Gon’yo’s One “Thing”

Venerable Gon’yo asked Joshu,
“How is it when a person does not have a single thing?”
Joshu said,
“Throw it away.”
Gon’yo said,
“I say I don’t have a single thing. What could I ever throw away?”
Joshu said,
“If so, carry it around with you.”

Case 58: “Getting Despised” in the Diamond Sutra [1]

The Diamond Sutra says,
“It is about getting despised by other people. If you are to come into hell
because of your sins in your previous life, these sins will be extinguished
because you are despised by the people of this world.”

[1]: see case 97 of Hekiganroku.

Case 59: Seirin’s “Deadly Snake”

A monk asked Seirin,
“How is it when a practitioner goes along a narrow path?”
Seirin said,
“You will meet a deadly snake on the great road. I advise you not to run
into it.”
The monk said,
“What if I do run into it?”
Seirin said,
“You will lose your life.”
The monk said,
“What if I don’t run into it?”
Seirin said,
“You have no place to escape from it.”
The monk said,
“Precisely at such a time, what then?”
Seirin said,
“It is lost.”
The monk said,
“I wonder where it is gone.”
Seirin said,
“The grass is so deep, there is no place to look for it.”
The monk said,
“You too, Master, must be watchful in order to get it.”
Seirin clapped his hands and said,
“This fellow is equally poisonous.”

Case 60: Tetsuma, the Cow [1]

Ryu Tetsuma [2] came to Isan. Isan said,
“Old Cow, you have come!”
Tetsuma said,
“Tomorrow there will be a great feast at Mt. Tai [3]. Will you go there,
Master?”
Isan lay down and stretched himself out.
Tetsuma left immediately.

[1]: see case 24 of Hekiganroku.
[2]: A famous Zen person, once a student of Isan. Her name means “Ryu, the
iron grindstone.”
[3]: More exactly: Mt. Gotai, which is far away in the northern part of
the country.

Case 61: Kempo’s “One Line” [1]

A monk asked Master Kempo in all earnestness,
“In a certain sutra it says, ‘Ten-direction Bhagavats, one Way to the gate
of nirvana.’ I wonder where the Way is.”
Kempo lifted up his stick, drew a line and said,
“Here it is.”
The monk told Unmon about this and asked him. Unmon said,
“This fan jumps up to the heaven of the thirty-three devas and adheres to
the nose of the deva Taishaku. When a carp in the eastern sea is struck
with a stick, it rains torrents as though a tray of water is overturned.”

[1]: see case 48 of Mumonkan.

Case 62: Beiko’s “Enlightenment”

Beiko had a monk ask Kyozan,
“Do people these days really need enlightenment or not?”
Kyozan said,
“It is not that there is no enlightenment, but how can it be helped that it
falls into the second class?”
The monk went back to Beiko and told him about it. Beiko deeply agreed.

Case 63: Joshu Asks about “Death” [1]

Joshu asked Tosu,
“What if a man who has died a great Death comes back to life?”
Tosu said,
“I don’t allow walking about in the night. Come in the daylight.”

[1]: see case 41 of Hekiganroku.

Case 64: Shisho’s “Succession”

Head Monk Shisho [1] asked Hogen,
“You have opened a zendo, Master. But who did you succeed to?”
Hogen said,
“Master Jizo.”
Shisho said,
“You have gone a great deal against your late master Chokei.” [2]
Hogen said,
“I still don’t understand a turning word of Chokei’s.”
Shisho said,
“Why didn’t you ask me?”
Hogen said,
“‘The one body manifests itself in myriad phenomena’, what does it mean?”
Shisho stuck up his whisk. Hogen said,
“That is what you learned under Chokei. What is your own view, Head Monk?”
Shisho was silent. Hogen said,
“When it is said, ‘The one body manifests itself in myriad phenomena’, are
the myriad phenomena swept away or are they not?”
Shisho said,
“Not swept away.”
Hogen said,
“There are two.”
All the disciples on the right and the left side said,
“Swept away.”
Hogen said,
“The one body manifests itself in myriad phenomena, Nii [3]!”

[1]: Shisho was a disciple of Master Chokei.
[2]: Hogen once practiced under Master Chokei.
[3]: A word used to point something out.

Case 65: Shuzan’s “Bride”

A monk asked Shuzan,
“What is Buddha?”
Shuzan said,
“When a bride rides the donkey, her mother-in-law leads it by the bridle. [1]”

[1]: This is how the mother-in-law introduces the bride to the village people.

Case 66: Kyuho’s “Head and Tail”

A monk asked Kyuho,
“What is the head?”
Kyuho said,
“Opening the eyes and not perceiving the dawn.”
The monk said,
“What is the tail?”
Kyuho said,
“Not sitting on a ten-thousand-year-old sitting place.”
The monk said,
“What if there is a head, but no tail?”
Kyuho said,
“After all, it is not valuable.”
The monk said,
“What if there is a tail, but no head?”
Kyuho said,
“Being complacent, yet having no power.”
The monk said,
“What if the head matches the tail?”
Kyuho said,
“The descendants will prosper, but it is not known in the room.”

Case 67: The Wisdom in the Kegon Sutra

The Kegon Sutra says,
“Now I see all living beings everywhere, and I see that each of them
possesses the wisdom and virtue of Tathagata. But because of their
delusions and attachments, they cannot realize it.”

Case 68: Kassan Brandishes the Sword

A monk asked Kassan,
“What if one sweeps away the dust and sees Buddha?”
Kassan said,
“You must brandish your sword. If you do not brandish your sword, the
fisherman dwells in a nest of reeds [1].”
The monk mentioned this to Sekiso and asked him,
“What if one sweeps away the dust and sees Buddha?”
Sekiso said,
“He has no country. Where can one meet him?”
The monk reported this to Kassan. Kassan ascended the rostrum and said,
“As for the facilities in the garden [2], the old monk [3] is superior to
Sekiso, but for deep discourse expounding the true principle he is one
hundred steps ahead of me.”

[1]: That is, unable to catch a single fish.
[2]: Better teaching methods.
[3]: I.e., “I.”

Case 69: Nansen’s “Cats and Oxen”

Nansen instructed the assembly and said,
“All the buddhas of the three worlds [1] do not know that there is.
Only the cats and Oxen know that there is.”

[1]: The past, present and future.

Case 70: Shinsan Asks about Nature

Master Shinsan asked Master Shuzan [1],
“After you have clearly known the unborn nature of life, why are you still
attached to life?”
Shuzan said,
“The bamboo shoot necessarily becomes a bamboo. But is it possible to make
a bamboo rope [2] already out of a bamboo shoot? [3]”
Shinsan said,
“Later you will realize it yourself.”
Shuzan said,
“My view is just as I said. What is your view?”
Shinsan said,
“This is the temple steward’s quarters, and that is the cooks’ quarters.”
Shuzan made a deep bow.

[1]: The two masters were Dharma brothers.
[2]: A rope made out of thin bamboo tops.
[3]: That is, I am still “a bamboo shoot”; you cannot make “a bamboo rope” out
of me.

Case 71: Suigan’s “Eyebrows” [1]

Towards the end of summer [2], Suigan instructed the assembly, saying,
“All summer I’ve preached to you, my brothers. Look here, are Suigan’s
eyebrows still there? [3]”
Hofuku said,
“The robber’s heart is terrified!”
Chokei said,
“They are well grown!”
Unmon said,
“Barrier [4]!”

[1]: see case 8 of Hekiganroku.
[2]: Summer-sesshin for 3 months.
[3]: According to the popular belief a great criminal should lose his eyebrows
as a sign of his coming punishment in hell.
[4]: Literally kan means “barrier” (cf. Mumonkan). In those days this Chinese
word colloquially meant also, “Watch out!” or “There!”

Case 72: Chuyu’s “Monkey”

Kyozan [1] asked Chuyu,
“What does buddha-nature mean?”
Chuyu said,
“I will explain it for you by allegory. Suppose there is a room with six
windows. Inside there is a monkey. Outside, someone shouts, ‘Monkey!
monkey!’ It immediately responds. If someone calls, ‘Monkey!’ through any
of the windows, it responds just the same. It is just like that.”
Kyozan said,
“How about when the monkey is asleep?”
Chuyu descended from his Zen seat, grasped Kyozan and said,
“O monkey, monkey, there you are!”

[1]: At this time Kyozan was about 13 years old.

Case 73: Sozan’s Filial Fulfillment

A monk asked Sozan,
“When one leaves off his mourning clothes [1], how about that?”
Sozan said,
“Sozan today has fulfilled filial piety.”
The monk said,
“How about after you have fulfilled piety?”
Sozan said,
“Sozan loves to get drunk.”

[1]: In Japanese: Reii. The mourning closes that one wore when one of the
parents was dead. Here it is symbolically used to designate the clothes
during Zen practice.

Case 74: Hogen’s “Form and Name”

A monk asked Hogen,
“I hear that a sutra says,
‘From the basis of non-abiding all dharmas are established.’
What is this basis of non-abiding?”
Hogen said,
“Form arises from what has no substance yet; name comes from what has no
name yet.”

Case 75: Zuigan’s “Everlasting Principle”

Zuigan [1] asked Ganto,
“What is the intrinsic, everlasting principle?”
Ganto said,
“It has moved.”
Zuigan said,
“What if it moves?”
Ganto said,
“You can’t see the intrinsic, everlasting principle.”
Zuigan thought for a moment. Ganto said,
“If you acknowledge it, you are not yet free from the roots and their
dust [2]. If you do not acknowledge it, you are immersed in endless birth
and death.”

[1]: At the time of this dialogue Zuigan was still a young boy.
[2]: The “roots” means “six roots” of sense organs: eye, ear, nose, tongue,
body, consciousness. “Dust”, more exactly “six dust particles,” means the
objects of the six sense organs: form, sound, smell, taste, things to be
touched, objects of mind.

Case 76: Shuzan’s Three Verses

Shuzan instructed his assembly and said,
“If you attain the first verse, you will be the teacher of buddhas and
patriarchs. If you attain the second verse, you will be the teacher of
heaven and humankind. If you attain the third verse, you cannot save even
yourself.”
A monk asked,
“Which verse did Your Reverence attain?”
Shuzan said,
“The moon is set at midnight; I walk alone through the market place of
the city.”

Case 77: Kyozan: As His Profession Requires

A monk asked Kyozan,
“Your Reverence, do you know letters or not?”
Kyozan said,
“According to my capacity.”
The monk immediately turned around once clockwise and said,
“What letter is this?”
Kyozan drew the ideograph for “10” [ + ] in the earth. The monk turned
himself around once counter-clockwise and said,
“What letter is that?”
Kyozan modified the sign” + ” into a swastika [1]. The monk drew a circle in
the air and lifted his two palms like Asura [2] vigorously holding the sun
and moon and said,
“What letter is that?”
Kyozan immediately drew a circle enclosing the swastika. The monk at once
represented the vigor of a Rucika [3]. Kyozan said,
“Good, good. Keep it with care.”

[1]: Manji in Japanese; a symbol of Buddhism.
[2]: Originally a Hindu deity, here one of the eight supernatural protectors
of Buddhist Way.
[3]: The buddha Rucika wailed at his fate at first because he was the last of
the thousand buddhas in this cosmic period. But then he made up his mind
to be the energetic protector of the Dharma for all other buddhas. Two
powerful figures of this buddha are seen at the entrance gate of many
temples in Japan (named Nio).

Case 78: Unmon’s “Rice Cake” [1]

A monk asked Unmon,
“What is meant by the pronouncement ‘to go beyond the Buddha and the
patriarchs’?”
Unmon said,
“Poor rice cake [2].”

[1]: see case 77 of Hekiganroku.
[2]: In Japanese: kobyo. Cheap and unrefined cake.

Case 79: Chosa Takes a Step

Chosa had a monk ask Master E,
“How was it when you had not yet seen Nansen?”
E remained silent. The monk asked,
“What about after seeing him?”
E said,
“Nothing special.”
The monk returned and told Chosa about this. Chosa said,
“The man sits on the top of a hundred-foot pole. He has entered the way,
but it is not yet genuine. He must take one step from the top of a
hundred-foot pole. The worlds of the ten directions will be his complete
body.” [1]
The monk said,
“How shall one take a step from the top of a hundred-foot pole?”
Sa said,
“Mountains of Ro; water of Rei [2].”
The monk said,
“I don’t understand.”
Sa said,
“Four seas and five lakes are all under the imperial reign.”

[1]: see case 46 of Mumonkan.
[2]: Ro and Rei are the names of Provinces in the old China.

Case 80: Suibi and the Chin Rest [1]

Ryuge asked Suibi,
“What is the meaning of the Patriarch’s coming from the west?”
Suibi said,
“Bring me a chin rest [2].”
Ryuge brought one and gave it to him. Suibi took it and hit him.
Ryuge said,
“You may hit me as you like. After all there is no meaning to the
Patriarch’s coming from the west.”

Ryuge also asked Rinzai,
“What is the meaning of the Patriarch’s coming from the west?”
Rinzai said,a
“Bring me a sitting cushion.”
Ryuge got one and gave it to Rinzai. Rinzai took it and hit him. Ryuge said,
“You may hit me as you like. After all there is no meaning to the
Patriarch’s coming from the west.”

Later Ryuge became abbot of a temple. A monk asked him,
“Master, at that time, when you asked Suibi and Rinzai about the meaning
of the Patriarch’s coming from the west, did they clarify it or not?”
Ryuge said,
“They clarified it all right. After all, there is no meaning to the
Patriarch’s coming from the west.”

[1]: similar to case 20 of Hekiganroku. However, the third paragraph, is
peculiar to the Shoyoroku.
[2]: Literally: “Zen board.” A narrow board used so as to let one sleep in
the sitting posture.

Case 81: Gensha Reaches the Province

Gensha came to the Province Hoden. He was welcomed with great entertainment.
The next day he asked the head priest, Shoto,
“All the revelry of yesterday, where has it gone?”
Shoto held out the corner of his Buddhist garment. Gensha said,
“Far from it, no connection at all.”

Case 82: Unmon’s: “Voice” and “Color”

Unmon instructed the assembly and said,
“‘To realize the way through hearing a voice, to enlighten the mind through
seeing color’ — Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara comes with some small change
and buys poor rice cakes. If he throws it away, he will get nice manju
cakes instead.”

Case 83: Dogo’s Nursing the Ill

Isan asked Dogo,
“Where have you come from?”
Dogo said,
“I come from nursing the ill.”
Isan said,
“How many people are ill?”
Dogo said,
“There are some ill, and some not ill.”
Isan said,
“The one who is not ill isn’t that you, dear Chi [1]?”
Dogo said,
“Ill or not ill it has nothing to do with ‘that’ matter. Say it quickly!
Say it quickly!”
Isan said,
“Even if I could say it, it would have no connection with that matter.”

[1]: Dogo’s full name was Dogo Enchi. “Chi” is short for Enchi.

Case 84: Gutei’s One Finger [1]

Whatever he was asked, Master Gutei simply stuck up one finger.

[1]: see case 3 of Mumonkan and case 19 of Hekiganroku.

Case 85: The National Teacher’s Gravestone [1]

Emperor Shukuso [2] asked Chu, the national teacher,
“What would you wish me to do after a hundred years [3]?”
The national teacher said,
“Make a seamless gravestone [4] for this old monk.”
The emperor said,
“I should like to ask you, master, for a design.”
The national teacher remained silent for a long time. Then he said,
“Did you understand?”
The emperor said,
“I didn’t understand anything.”
The national teacher said,
“I have a Dharma successor, my disciple Tangen, who is well versed with
this matter.”
Afterwards the emperor called Tangen and asked him about the meaning of this.
Tangen responded:
“The south of the river, north of the lake:
In between there’s gold, which fills the whole land.
Under the shadowless tree all people are in one boat;
In the crystal palace there is no one who knows.”

[1]]: see case 18 of Hekiganroku.
[2]: Historically speaking it was Emperor Daiso the oldest son and successor
of Shukuso.
[3]: After your death.
[4]: An egg-formed gravestone which is made out of a single piece of stone.
It was often made for deceased monks.

Case 86: Rinzai’s Great Enlightenment

Rinzai asked Obaku,
“What is the great meaning of the Buddha-Dharma?”
Obaku hit him. This happened three times. Rinzai then took his leave and went
to see Daigu. Daigu asked,
“Where have you come from?”
Rinzai said,
“From Obaku.”
Daigu said,
“What did Obaku have to say?”
Rinzai said,
“I asked him three times, ‘What is the great meaning of the Buddha-Dharma?’
and I got his stick three times. I don’t know if I was in error or not.”
Daigu said,
“Obaku was overly gentle like an old grandmother; he completely exhausted
himself for your sake. Yet you come here and ask if you were in error
or not!”
With these words, Rinzai came to great enlightenment.

Case 87: Sozan: With or Without

Sozan came to Isan and asked,
“I have heard that you said, ‘Words of being and words of non-being are just
like wisteria wound around a tree.’ If suddenly the tree falls down and the
wisteria withers, where will the words go?”
Isan burst into great laughter. Sozan said,
“I sold my clothes and other belongings, and made an arduous journey of one
thousand miles to come to you. Why does Your Reverence make light of me?”
Isan called his attendant and said,
“Bring some money and give it to this reverend monk for his travel expenses.”
Finally he said,
“Some day a one-eyed dragon will let you open your eyes.”
Later Sozan went to Myosho and told him about this. Myosho said,
“I can say that Isan is completely right, but he did not meet one who could
appreciate him.”
Sozan asked again,
“If the tree falls down and the wisteria withers, where will the words go?”
Myosho said,
“It would make Isan laugh again all the more.”
Upon hearing this, Sozan gained realization. Then he said,
“From the beginning, there was a sword behind Isan’s laughter.”

Case 88: “Non-Seeing” in the Ryogon Sutra [1]

The Ryogon Sutra says,
“When I don’t see, why do you not see what I do not see? If you argue that
you see what I do not see, that is of course not what I do not see. If you
do not see what I do not see, then it is quite natural that it is not a
thing. Why is it not your self?”

[1]: see case 94 of Hekiganroku.

Case 89: Tozan’s “Place of No Grass”

Tozan instructed the assembly and said,
“At the beginning of autumn and the end of summer, you, brothers, are
departing east and west. But you should go directly to the place of no
grass over ten thousand miles.”
And again he said,
“How will you go to the place of no grass over ten thousand miles?”
Sekiso said,
“When you go out of the gate, there is grass!”
Taiyo said,
“I would say: Even if you don’t go out of the gate, grass is abundant
everywhere.”

Case 90: Kyozan Speaks Out [1]

Master Kyozan went to Maitreya’s abode in a dream and was led to the second
seat. A venerable monk said,
“Today the second seat is due to speak.”
Kyozan stood up, struck the stand with the gavel, and said,
“The Dharma of Mahayana is beyond the four propositions and transcends the
hundred negations. I dare speak this!”

[1]: see case 25 of Mumonkan.

Case 91: Nansen and the Peonies [1]

Minister Rikuko said to Nansen,
“Dharma-teacher Jo is wonderful. He truly knows what he is talking about:
‘Heaven and earth and I have one and the same root; all things and I are
one single body.'”
Nansen pointed at the peonies in the garden and said,
“Minister, people of our time [2] see these flowers as in a dream.”

[1]: see case 40 of Hekiganroku, which has a slightly different wording.
[2]: I.e. “you”.

Case 92: Unmon’s “One Treasure” [1]

Unmon said,
“‘Within heaven and earth, in the midst of the universe, there is one
treasure hidden in a body.’ [2] You take up the lantern and go to the
Buddha Hall; you take the temple gate and put it on the lantern.”

[1]: see case 62 of Hekiganroku.
[2]: A sentence from the Hozoron by Monk Jo (?-414).

Case 93: Roso Does Not Understand

Roso [1] asked Nansen,
“‘People do not recognize the Mani[2]-jewel. I picked it up myself in the
Tathagata treasury.’ [3] What is this treasury?”
Nansen said,
“Old Master O [4] exchanges questions and answers with you. That’s it.”
Shiso said,
“How about when there is no exchange of questions and answers?”
Nansen said,
“That’s also the treasury.”
Shiso said,
“What is the jewel?’
Nansen said,
“Reverend Shiso!”
Shiso said,
“Yes!”
Nansen said,
“Get out. You don’t understand my words.”

[1]: Mistakenly the original text renders “Roso” (Nansen’s elder brother in
Dharma); in reality it should be “Shiso” (Nansen’s student), as Nansen’s
question indicates.
[2]: “Mani” in Sanskrit means “perfect freedom” ¡© another name for Buddha
nature.
[3]: A quote from the famous Shodoka by Yoka Daishi.
[4]: Nansen himself.

Case 94: Tozan Unwell

Tozan was unwell. A monk asked,
“Your Reverence is unwell. Is there anyone who does not become ill?”
Tozan said,
“There is.”
The monk said,
“Does the one who does not get ill take care of Your Reverence?”
Tozan said,
“The old monk is properly taking care of that one.”
The monk said,
“How about when your Reverence takes care of that one?”
Tozan said,
“Then the old monk does not see that there is illness.”

Case 95: Rinzai Draws a Line

Rinzai asked the temple steward,
“Where have you come from?”
The temple steward said,
“From selling brown rice in the province.”
Rinzai said,
“Did you sell all of it?”
The manager said,
“Yes, I sold all of it.”
Rinzai drew a line with his staff and said,
“Have you sold all of this too?”
The manager shouted,
“Kaatz!”
Rinzai immediately struck him. Later, the cook monk [1] came to Rinzai, who
told him about this incident. The monk said,
“The steward didn’t understand Your Reverence’s intention.”
Rinzai said,
“How about you?”
The monk made a deep bow. Rinzai struck him likewise.

[1]: I.e. “tenzo”, a monk who prepares meals.

Case 96: Kyuho Does Not Acknowledge

Kyuho served Sekiso as his attendant. After Sekiso’s passing, the assembly
wanted to make their head monk the abbot of the temple. Kyuho would not
acknowledge him. He said,
“Wait till I examine him. If he understands our late master’s spirit and
intention, I will serve him as I served our late master.”
So he asked the head monk,
“Our late master said,
‘Have been totally ceased;
Have been totally extinguished;
[Have become a cool land of desolation;] [1]
Have had only one awareness for ten thousand years;
Have become cold ashes and a withered tree;
[Have become a fragrant censer in an ancient shrine;]
Have become a vertical stripe [2] of white silk.’
Tell me, what sort of matter did he clarify with this?”
The head monk said,
“He clarified the matter of absolute Oneness.”
Ho said,
“If so, you have not yet understood our late master’s spirit.”
The head monk said,
“Don’t you acknowledge me? Pass me incense.”
He lit the incense and said,
“If I had not understood our late master’s spirit, I would not be able to
pass away while the smoke of this incense rises.”
No sooner had he said this than he expired while sitting in zazen. Kyuho
caressed his back and said,
“Dying while sitting or standing is not impossible. But you could not even
dream of our late master’s spirit.”

[1]: The original text contains five out of the famous “seven Perfecta”
(shichikyo) of Sekiso. For your reference, the lacking two lines are
shown in [ ].
[2]: The image of a waterfall.

Case 97: Emperor Doko’s Helmet Hood

Emperor Doko spoke to Koke saying,
“I have attained the treasure of the Central Plain [1]. However, no one can
set a price on it.”
Koke said,
“Your Majesty, please lend it to me so that I may see.”
The emperor pulled the straps of his helmet hood with both hands. Koke said,
“Who can dare to set a price on the emperor’s treasure!”

[1]: The entire land of China.

Case 98: Tozan’s “Intimate with It”

A monk asked Tozan,
“Among the three bodies [of Buddha] [1], what body does not degenerate
into numbers?”
Tozan said,
“I am always most intimate with it.”

[1]: They are: (1) hosshin, Dharmakaya or Dharma-bodya,
(2) hojin, Sambhogakaya or the body of reward,
(3) ojin or keshin, Nirmanakaya or the accommodated body.

Case 99: Unmon’s “Bowl and Pail” [1]

A monk asked Unmon,
“What is the dust-dust samadhi [2] ?”
Unmon said,
“Rice in the bowl, water in the pail.”

[1]: see case 50 of Hekiganroku.
[2]: The word “dust” comes from the expression “six dust particles,” which
means the same thing as the “six objects” (cf. note to Case 75).

Case 100: Roya’s “Mountains and Rivers”

A monk asked Master Kaku of Roya,
“The essential state is pure and clear. How are mountains, rivers and the
great earth produced at once?”
Kaku said,
“The essential state is pure and clear. How are mountains, rivers and the
great earth produced at once?”

Dharma Talk to Begin the Winter Retreat 2009~2010

By Most Ven. Beopjeon

Supreme Patriarch of Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism

“Where is that Path?”

A monk asked Seon master Geonbong, “It is said all the Buddhas of all the worlds realized the state of Nirvana through a single path. What is the single path to realize the state of Nirvana?”

At this the Seon master took his stick and drew a line in the air and said, “It is here.”

The monk didn’t understand, so he went to Seon master Woonmoon and asked the same question. Seon master Woonmoon replied, “If I were to throw this fan, it would go all the way to the 33rd heaven and stick into the nostril of Indra, and if I were to strike a carp with this fan, it would fly into the air to create an intense rain storm.”

Just as a freshwater carp would not be found in the ocean, to say the path to Nirvana is this or that is meaningless. We can never approach the path to realize the infinitely unobstructed state of Nirvana of all the Buddhas with conceptual distinctions. This is why Master Geonbong drew a line in the air with his stick to show that state. Although the stick may be raised from the path to Nirvana, hundreds of times—an obscured monk will continue to walk in the dark the same path hundreds of times. Although this lofty teaching of the master is like the bright sun shining in the cloudless sky, childish beings will consider it easy or hard to create delusion, and even if kalpas were to pass, there would be no chance of enlightenment.

If you were to ask this mountain monk, the path to Nirvana, I would at once beat you with a club. And in the moment you try to open your mouth again, I would let a yelp so fierce as to make the mountains tremble and chase you out. If we think about it, the two masters, Geonbong and Woonmoon’s undue compassion only resulted in making the monk more blind—so the faults of the masters are not at all small. Monks and nuns doing retreat this winter may simply search for what the two masters were implying. However, we should never follow after the mere words of two old people. We must find the path to Nirvana on our own, below our own feet. We must know that only when we fervently and correctly hold the hwadu, can we resolve the path to Nirvana on our own.

If you attain the meaning, you attain the path to return home.

If you find the words, you will led on the wrong path to be farther away.

2553 Buddhist Era (2009) Beginning of Winter Retreat

Dorim Beopjeon ( 1925 ~ )

Beopjeon


Beopjeon sunim, whose secular name is Kim Hyangbong, gained his nickname ‘Stone Mortar Practitioner,’ from his reputation of sitting glued to the ground like a stone mortar once he sat down in meditation. In 1939, he ordained as a monk at Bulgap monastery in Younggwang with Seolje sunim as his ordination sponsor and received his sramanera precepts. In 1948, he received his bhiksu precepts at Baekyangsa monastery with Seon master Manam Jongheon (만암 종헌, 曼庵 宗憲 : 1876-1956) as his preceptor.

In 1947, while he was traveling to Haein monastery from Baekyang monastery, he stopped at Bongam monastery in Mungyeong. There he encountered monks who were then attending the Retreat Society at Bongam Monastery–including Seongcheol sunim (성철, 性徹 : 1912-1993), Cheongdam sunim (청담, 靑潭 : 1902-1971), Hyanggok sunim (향곡, 香谷 : 1912-1978), Wolsan sunim (월산, 月山 1912-1997), and Jaun Seongu sunim (자운 성우, 慈雲 盛祐 : 1911-1992)–and decided to join them as its youngest member. His hwadu (keyword) at the time was ‘Who is carrying your corpse?”

This acquaintance with Seongcheol sunim led him to become Seongcheol sunim’s personal attendant. One day in 1951, as he was assisting and sometimes practicing with Seongcheol sunim, who was then cultivating in Cheonje cave at Anjongsa monastery in Tongyoung, Seongcheol sunim expounded the first line from the Song of Attaining the Way, by the eminent Chinese master Yongjia Xuanjue (永嘉 玄覺 : 665-713), which says, “Haven’t you seen it?” Seongcheol sunim asked him, “Do you understand this?” Beopjeon sunim replied, “If you ask me in that way, I will kick you in the back.” To this response, Seongcheol sunim said, “Your mind is clear.” The following day, he gave Beopjeon the dharma cognomen Dorim and formally assumed the role of his sponsor in the Dharma. From that point on, Beopjeon served as Seongcheol sunim’s personal attendant until Seongcheol sunim passed away in 1993. When Seongcheol sunim undertook his practice of ‘ten years without exiting’ at Seongjeon hermitage at Pagye temple, he put up a metal fence surrounding the entire area.

Though Beopjeon sunim was only 5 feet tall and reticent to speak, even Seongcheol sunim could not top his dedication as a Seon practitioner and told him to take a break: “I lost to you. Now, continue after eating your meal.” Beopjeon sunim attained awakening by cultivating the practice of ‘never going out the gate’ in the middle of the harsh winter; he barely ate cold rice with a few pieces of kimchi to satisfy his hunger, and did not bath or clean his place for over three months. There is a story that after validating his awakening, Seongcheol sunim announced that he would provide rice cake as a tribute to Beopjeon sunim’s completing his contemplation. However, due to his humble nature, Beopjeon sunim refused. Even nowadays, he still wakes up at three in the morning and climbs the mountain and exercises for an hour every morning and evening to maintain his good health. After lunch, he doesn’t accept audiences with anyone.

In 1985, Beopjeon sunim returned to Haein monastery and a year later began an eight-year term as abbot. In 1996, he was designated the seventh Seon master of the monastery (방장, 方丈), succeeding Hyeam Songgwan. In 2000, he was the convener of the Jogye Order’s Council of Elders. In the year 2002, he was nominated as the eleventh Supreme Patriarch of the Jogye Order. His words of teaching are widely known, such as: “Monks are those who specialize in spiritual cultivation; all strata of practitioners are produced by cultivation”; “All problems arise from the excessive greed of human beings,” and “Remind yourselves of the teaching, ‘Be of few desires and know contentment.’”

Wondam ( 1926 ~ 2008/03/18 )


The great Seon Master Ven. Wondam considered calligraphy as one means of practice. He was an extraordinary monk who was renowned for his calligraphy, alive with the spirit of Seon. “Sentient beings, full of sin, are not too low for me; and Buddhas, gone to Nirvana, are not too high for me.” He would say that if we meditate, we will gain wisdom. “I lost myself,” even such a thought must be abandoned. Ven. Wondam was born in Okgu, Jollanamdo Province in 1926. His mother had a dream, where a monk appeared and gave her a name for her baby. He was called “Mongsool (Dream Manifest).” He was not prone to crying, yet on one occasion a monk came for alms and the baby bawled. At 12, he followed his aunt to Sudeoksa Temple. He saw the bright countenance of the meditating monks and great delight arose in him. He entered the monastery and for more than five years, he trained as a postulant at Chunjangsa Temple and Junwolsa Temple serving Ven. Mangong. In 1941 at the age of 16, he received novice (sramanera) precepts with Ven. Byukcho as vocation master (Unsa) and Ven. Mangong as precept master. Ven. Byukcho was a Seon-farmer monk. He was known for his humility and served others all his life. Ven. Wondam inherited the Seon-farmer practice lineage and increased the renown of the practice of “farming and Seon are one.” He received Dharma transmission from Ven. Mangong. In 1970, he became the Abbot of Sudeoksa Temple. In 1983, he established Sudeoksa Temple as a Chongrim (a large-scale temple, which provides comprehensive training for the monastics; there are four such temples in Korea). Thereafter, he published the “Teachings of Mangong.” In 1986 he became the third spiritual director of the Chongrim. Ven. Hye-am and Ven. Byukcho were the first and second. Ven. Wondam was a true practitioner all his life. On March 18, 2008 9 p.m. at Sudeoksa Temple, Ven. Wondam passed away at the age of 82. He was a monk for 76 years.

Only This; That Is All.

The following is a part of Dharma talks exchanged between the late Supreme Patriarch Seoam and his disciples, collected in the book “Sound without Sound” compiled by the disciples.

Only This; That Is All.
“Sunim, are you sure about the hereafter?”
“Do not be deluded either by coming or going.
There is only ‘this;’ that is all.”
A Dream
“Every perspective is but a dream.
This is the only thing one should realize;
A dream is but a dream.”
“What, then, is not a dream?”
“A dream.”
“What is the logic in your contradictory statement that
A dream is not a dream?”
“You are carrying around too many bags of this and that,
Of ‘a dream’ and ‘not a dream.’
Aren’t they heavy to carry around?”
Sure, I Will Come Back.
One day the Master visited a student of a fellow monk
Who has died, and asked the student:
“Your Master has gone to Heaven
And hasn’t come back, hasn’t he?
Was there a letter or a phone call from him by any chance?”
“No, Sunim.”
“A heartless fellow.”
And another student:
“Does that mean that
You will be coming back
When your turn comes around?”
“Sure, I will.
If you promise that you will study hard.”
Almighty God, the Creator
One day an attendant asked the Master:
“Is there an almighty God who is the Creator?
“No!”
Another attendant asked the same question:
“Is there an almighty God who is the Creator?”
“Yes, there are as many as eighty-four thousand gods.”
“You are now saying, ‘Yes.’
Aren’t you contradicting yourself, Master?”
“All those gods are the creation of your mind.”
Do You Have to Drink the Entire Ocean to Have a Taste of It?
Sunim was coming to Wonjeok Monastery by bus from Seoul.
Sitting next to Sunim was a young man who was an adherent of a different religion.
He asked Sunim:
“I understand that there are eighty-four thousand Buddhist sutras.
Have you read them all?”
“No, I have not.”
“How can you call yourself a Sunim if you have not read them all?”
“Do you have to drink the entire ocean to know the taste of it?”
“. . . “
My Hwadu Doesn’t Work.
Student: “My Hwadu doesn’t work.
I can hardly even breathe.”
Master: “Good for you!”
Honggeun’s Archives

Seoam Honggeun ( 1917 ~ 2003 )

Honggeun


  A young boy wandering in the mountains was suddenly inspired to become a monk. He went to the Master Hwasan Sunim and told him, “I want to live in the monastery, sir.” “Not all people can live as a monk. It is not an easy job.” But the boy would not budge. He persisted and finally got the Master’s permission, on the condition that he would do odd jobs around the monastery for three years. This was how his life as a monk began.

Seoam Sunim was born in Youngju, North Gyeongsang Province, in 1914. He started to practice under the guidance of Hwasan Sunim at Seoaksa in Yecheon in 1936. Until the liberation of the country from Japanese colonization in August 1945, he practiced at diverse monasteries in the region of Mt. Geumgang, and one time he taught at Simwonsa in Cheolwon. He then held many important official positions, such as Executive Director of Administration for the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism, Chairman of the Supreme Council of Elders, Head Monk at Bongam Monastery, and then the 8th Supreme Patriarch of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism.

Seoam Sunim died at Bongamsa on the 29th of March, 2003, at the age of 87. He had been a monk for sixty-eight years. Before his decease, he assembled about 100 monks and lay people from Taego Seon center and Bongam Monastery and told them, “I have nothing say. If people ask about my Nirvana poem, tell them, ‘There was an old man who lived thus and died thus.’ That is my Nirvana poem.” He then retired to his room and passed away in a sitting position.

Doing practice by Ganhwaseon in America

From International Symposium of Bojo Thoughts Institute, 16, November, 2005

Ven. Jong-Ho(Prof. Mun Gi, Bark)
Dept. of Seon, Dongguk Univ. & Graduate School
Ⅰ. Introduction
   It has been taken for 50 years or more since Seon(Zen in Jap./ Ch’an in China/Sitting Meditation in the US) had been introduced as a technique of practice in American society. Many Zen masters came to the States from South-eastern areas; Korea, China, Taiwan, Myanmar, Sri-Lanka, Vietnam, and then they made up a new linage of American Zen, since Suzuki Shunryu(1904~1971) had built San Francisco Zen Center(SFZC) in 1958, in which a hall for practicing and a farm for self-sufficiency are completed.
   Today, it is due to them that there are the various methods of Zen with many Zen-Centers and web-sites on internet for meditation practice in the States. If we surf on internet for a moment, immediately, we’d find out hundreds of web-sites related with Zen. I heard, that there are about 30 to 50 thousand of Zen Centers in the States, by a Zen-practitioner whom I met, while I was staying in the States in 2004.
   Among them, first SFZC is organizing 9 Zen Centers around San Francisco, 10 in California area and 14 in the other areas. And Tibetan Shambhalla Center is organizing about 1,500 branches all around the States, IMS(Insight Meditation Society) is organizing about 5 hundred or more, and there are lots of Zen-Centers and practitioners. We can say, the number is not so considerable in the big country, but it is  raised up so rapidly for a short period.
   I classified the groups in the States into 4 methods of practice; Vajrayana Practice by Tibetan gurus, Vippassana Practice by South-eastern practitioners, Mook-jo Seon(Silent Illumination without kong-an/kung-an in China) by Japanese practitioners and Gan-hua Seon(Meditation with kong-an or hua-t’ou) by Korean, Japanese and Chinese practitioners. By the methods, Vajrayana is surpassed others, Vipassana is the next, and then Mook-jo, and the last is Gan-hua.
   Hereby, specifically I’ll look into the Gan-hua Seon method in American society. In the lineage of Gan-hua Seon, there are separated to many families from their own Zen Masters, but I’ll study a few big families among them and also study the field related with 3 countries; Korea, China, Japan. I don’t want to review the great Zen Masters’ biographies, either. So I’d like to mention their activities inside of the States.
Ⅱ. Gan-hwa Seon of Zen-Master, Joshu S, Roshi
   1. Life of Zen-Master, Joshu S, Roshi
  Joshu Sasaki Roshi(1907~   ) arrived in L.A. on July, 1962, because his teacher asked him to go to America to teach Zen Buddhism and at that time, Dr. Robert Harmon and Dr. Gladys Weisbart had been independently trying to bring a Rinzai Zen monk to L.A. They sponsored Master Joshu Roshi to come to the US.
  After arriving there, the Master Rhoshi began to teach Zen(Seon) for a few Zen students in a small house lent by Dr. Harmon. Before long, his teaching were attracting so many Zen students and the more lay-people gathered to learn his Zen teaching. At last, the Cimarron Zen Center, since renamed Rinzai-ji Zen Center as the first Zen Center, was opened in L.A.1)
 Three year later, Rinjai-ji’s main training center, Mt. Baldy Zen center, was opened. This Center has gained a reputation in international Zen circles for its rigorous practice for 19 hours a day. Most of Rinjai-ji’s monks and nuns have received some or all of intensive training there.
 And Michelle Martin who were practicing at Mt. Baldy Zen center, asked to practice in New Mexico area, and then Master, Joshu S, Roshi opened Jamez Bodhi Mandala, now Bodhi Mandala Zen Center in 1974. It became Master J. S, Roshi’s second training Center, offering daily Zazen(Ch’am Seon/Sitting Meditation) and communal work practice. In this Center, all practitioners were growing fresh greens and fruits together. It means Zen practice is not different from farming everyday life.
   For 5 years, Master J. S, Roshi had never tired, offering Zazen(Ch’am Seon/Sitting Meditation), investigating kong-an, having private Dharma meeting in a very small house. He had always served tea, cooked for himself, whenever he met with anyone who came to practice. Specially, to commemorate his fifth birthday in 1967, he began to practice Seven-Day Intensive Retreat(Dai-Sesshin) at first, which has developed to another tradition for practice under the Master J. S, Roshi’s teaching. During the Intensive Retreat, practitioners usually do Zazen(Ch’am Seon/Sitting Meditation). Now there are 21 branches in the US under his teaching.
   It is notable that the Master J. S, Roshi has held the Buddhist Sutra Seminar every summer at Mt. Baldy Zen Center since 1977. Over 16 years, many Buddhist scholars have taken part in the seminar from other countries. Naturally, Rinjai Zen under Master J. S, Roshi’s teachings was more prevalent.
   He has taught his Zen students with old patriarchs’ Dharma Talks and interviewed them in the face of him with private until now, though he is walking 98th year. It is interesting that he was familiar with Korean Zen Master, Seung Sahn friendly. And he was very sad, when the Master, Seung Sahn passed away in 2004.
   2. Gan-hua Seon of Zen-Master, Joshu S, Roshi
   Even though Master J. S, Roshi has taught Gan-hwa Seon with kong-ans under Rinzai-ji, I wonder how he has checked the kong-ans for his Zen students. As for me, it was difficult to get the related data more. However, it’s obvious that he teaches Zen(Sitting Meditation) with hard, using the traditional method of ‘investigating kong-an’ and his own modern style. I confirmed to the Zen Center of Master J. S, Roshi a few times, that Master J. S, Roshi gives Hua-t’ou to the Zen students who is needed to test and checks the answers in the face of him. But usually beginners have learned the ‘counting breathing’ first and then, ‘investigating Hua-t’ou’ one after another.
   Until now they have kept on practicing ‘7-Day Intensive Retreat’ one or two times a month, and Master J. S, Roshi has had private interview directly 4 times everyday during the period. At that time, usually he gives big questions(Hua-t’ou) as follow; “Who am I?”, “What am I?”, “What was my original face before I was born?”, “What is it?”.
   However, we couldn’t confirm any more because they don’t want show their private teachings. They wants to come and ask for their methods of practice the Zen Center, if somebody would have any question. Though Master J. S, Roshi is a Japanese, he has chosen only Gan-hua(Investigating Hua-t’ou), not Mook-jo(Silent Illumination) as the methods of practice.
   And we know he also uses the Buddhist daily-service or communal working and so forth, by the methods of practice, on his web-sites. During the ‘Intensive Retreat’, practitioners do Zazen(Ch’am Seon/Sitting Meditation), must keep silence, and finally can be free out of all delusion. By doing this, we could attain the self-nature and get wisdom to help all sentient-beings everyday life.2)
   Consequently, Master J. S, Roshi emphasizes that you attain your true nature through the practice with kong-ans, and apply the wisdom into your real life. For the purport, he teaches Zazen(Ch’am Seon with Hua-t’ou), Intensive Retreat(Dai Sesshin), checks the kong-ans(private interview) directly, and ‘counting breathing’ for the beginners. And on farming greens and fruits, he leads the practitioners to apply daily life with Zen.
Ⅲ. Gan-hua Seon of Zen-Master, Sheng-yen
   1. Life of Zen Master, Sheng-yen
   Zen Master, Sheng-yen(聖嚴, 1931~ ) was born in a small village near Shanghai in 1931. Later on his Japanese teacher, Bantetsugu Roshi who met in his studying in Japan, asked him to teach Ch’an(Zen/Seon) Buddhism in the US. But he couldn’t speak English, so hesitated to leave. However, his teacher encouraged to him, ‘Zen doesn’t rely on words. Why worry about words?’
   When he had traveled to the State in 1977, where he had served as the abbot of a temple in New York for a while. And he opened a Ch’an(Seon/Meditation) Center in Queens, New York, to propagate Chinese Ch’an(Zen) in there. In 1978 he became a professor at Chinese Culture Univ. in Taipei. In 1980 he found a Ch’an(Seon/Zen) Center and Chung-Hwa Buddhist Cultural Institute in New York. In 1989 founded the International Cultural and Educational Foundation of Dharma Drum Mountain and reopened the Center in Queens to New York Branch of ICEFDDM. Nowadays there are 24 branches of ICEFDDM in New York. In the Center, there are organizing many programmes as follow; ‘One-Day Ch’an Retreat’, ‘One-Day Recitation Retreat’, ‘Three-Day Recitation Retreat’, ‘Seven-Day Intensive Hua-t’ou Retreat’, ‘Ten-Day Intensive Silent Illumination Retreat’, ‘Family Zen Camp’ and so forth. Specially they have Dharma meeting for questions and answers every programme.
   Finally, Master Sheng-yen had affected to open the Buddhist subject in almost 40 universities in the US. Currently 3,000 or more Zen students follow him in the States and about 300,000 are learning under his teaching in Taiwan. The Master has published more than 90 books, available in English, Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, German, French and other languages.
   It is notable that the Master received by two major lineages of Ch’an(Zen/Seon) Buddhism; Lin-Ji(Rinzai) School and Cao-Dong(Soto) School, and he became the Dharma heir in these two traditions. At age 28, sojourning at various monasteries, he had the deepest spiritual experience of his life. The experiences were recognized by the masters later. In 1975 he formally received transmission from Ch’an(Zen/Seon) Master Dong-Chu(東初, 1908-1977) of Cao-Dong(Soto) School and in 1978, from Ch’an(Zen/Seon) Master Ling Yuan(靈源, 1902-1988) of the Lin-Ji(Rinzai) School.3)
  2. Gan-hua Seon of Zen-Master, Sheng-yen
 The Master emphasizes not only Gan-hua Seon(Ch’an/Zen), but also teaches sutras, mantra practice, and all the methods for practice. In his Dharma talking, there are basically included the Buddha’s teachings, theory of cause and effect, rebirth(samsara), emptiness and so forth. He also applies ‘Gan-hua Seon(investigating kung-an)’ of Lin-Ji(Rinzai) School, ‘Mook-jo Seon(silent illumination without kung-an)’ of Cao-Dong(Soto) School and ‘Ji-kwan(止觀/ Great Shamatha)’ of T’ien-t’ai School for practice. Regardless of the methods, he uses all the types for practice like; ‘counting breaths’, ‘reading sutras’, ‘invoking mantra’, ‘reciting buddha’s names’, ‘walking meditation’, ‘investigating Hua-t’ou’, ‘silent illumination’ and others.
   ‘Ch’an encompasses four key concepts: faith, understanding, practice, and realization. Faith belongs to the realm of religion; understanding is philosophical; practice is belief put into action; and realization is enlightenment. Without faith, we cannot understand; without understanding, we cannot practice; and without practice, we cannot realize enlightenment. Together, these four concepts create the doorway we enter to attain wisdom.”4) It means that the Master thought all the methods of practice are related with each other.
   In practicing meditation, Master Sheng-yen explained very simply. For beginners sitting postures on the cushion and the way of counting breaths is taught first. It is important that body and mind be relaxed. If one is physically or mentally tense, trying to meditate can be counter-productive. Sometimes certain feelings or phenomena arise while meditating. If you are relaxed, whatever symptoms arise are usually good. It can be pain, soreness, itchiness, warmth or coolness, these can all be beneficial. But in the context of tenseness, these same symptoms may indicate obstacles.
For example, despite being relaxed when meditating, you may sense pain in some parts of the body. Frequently, this may mean that tensions you were not aware of are benefiting from the circulation of blood and energy induced by meditation. A problem originally existing may be alleviated. On the other hand, if you are very tense while meditating and feel pain, the reason may be that the tension is causing the pain. So the same symptom of pain can indicate two different causes: an original problem getting better, or a new problem being created.5)
   The methods of Ch’an(Zen) that the Master, Sheng-yen has taught in the States are divided into three stages. The first stage is to balance the development of body and mind in order to attain mental and physical health. The second is free from the sense of the small “I”. The third is free from the large “I” to no “I”.
   The method of the first stage is very simple. Mainly it requires you to relax all the muscles and nerves of your entire body, and concentrate your attention on the method you have just learned. With regard to the body, we stress the demonstration and correction of the postures of walking, standing, sitting and reclining. Because the tension of your muscles and nerves affects the activity of the brain, the key is therefore to reduce the burden on your brain.
   In the second stage you begin to enter the stage of meditation. When you practice the method of cultivation taught by your teacher, you will enlarge the sphere of the outlook of the small “I” until it coincides with time and space. The small “I” merges into the entire universe, forming a unity. When you look inward, the depth is limitless; when you look outward, the breadth is limitless. Since you have joined and become one with universe, the world of your own body and mind no longer exists. What exists is the universe, which is infinite in depth and breadth. You yourself are not only a part of the universe, but also the totality of it.
  In the third stage you realizes that the concept of the “I” does not exist. But you have only abandoned the small “I” and have not negated the concept of basic substance or the existence of God; you may call it Truth, the one and only God, the Almighty, the Unchanging Principle, or even the Buddha of Buddhism. If you think that it is real, then you are still in the realm of the big “I” and have not left the sphere of philosophy and religion.
   I must emphasize that the content of Ch’an(Zen) does not appear until the third stage. Chan is unimaginable. It is neither a concept nor a feeling. It is impossible to describe it in any terms abstract or concrete.6)
   What is the Master’s methods for Ch’an(Zen) practice? He showed two styles for getting enlightenment; Gan-hwa Seon(Ch’an/Zen) with hua-t’ou of Lin-Ji(Linjai) School and Mook-jo Seon(Silent Illumination without hua-t’ou) of Cao Dong(Soto) School. Both of them enables us to be relaxed physically or mentally, and concentrate on mindfulness. The purpose of practicing Ch’an is to “Illuminate the mind and see into one’s true nature.” This investigation is also called ” Clearly realizing one’s self-mind and completely perceiving one’s original nature.”
   There are many hua-t’ou as such; “Who is dragging this corpse around?” “All dharmas return to one, where does this one return to?” “Before you were born what was your original face?’ and “Who is reciting Buddha’s name?” is common.
In fact, all hua-t’ou are the same. There is nothing uncommon, strange, or special about them. If you wanted to, you could say: “Who is reciting the sutras?” “Who is reciting the mantras? “Who is prostrating to the Buddha? ” Who is eating?” “Who is wearing these clothes?” “Who’s walking?” “Who’s sleeping?” They’re all the same.
  The Master Sheng-yen said, the answer to the question “who” is derived from one’s Mind. Mind is the origin of all words. Thoughts come out of Mind ; Mind is the origin of all thoughts. Innumerable dharmas generate from the Mind ; Mind is the origin of all dharmas. In fact, hua-t’ou is a thought. Before a thought arises, there is the origin of words. Hence, looking into a hua-t’ou is contemplating Mind. There was Mind before your parents gave birth to you, so looking into your original face before you were born is contemplating Mind. 7)
   Hence, hua-t’ou’s involving the word “who” are wonderful methods for practicing Ch’an. You have to investigate the great doubt, whenever you walking, standing, sitting and reclining. A necessary element of Hua-t’ou practice is the presence of a sense of doubt. It doesn’t mean thinking or considering of an idea repeatedly. By the Great doubt, it means a burning, uninterrupted persistence to get the root of a question which is unanswerable. That is the core of Gan-hua Seon practice.
Ⅳ. Gan-hua Seon of Zen master, Seung Sahn, Haeng-won
   1. His motivation and development for propagating
   Zen Master, Seung Sahn, Haeng-won(1927-2004) arrived at the States in April 1972, when he was 42. In there he saw the sight, that Japanese people were practicing Ch’am Seon(zazen/sitting meditation) at a Zen Center in L.A. He was shocked and thought, ‘Why don’t we, Korean monks, teach the Seon(Zen) like that?’ At the next moment, he determined firmly to propagate Korean Gan-hua Seon(Kanna Zen) in the States.8)
   However, the Master couldn’t speak English. So, he called Jeong-sun, Kim who was a professor for the Uni. of Rhode Island State, and began to propagate his Zen talks for his Zen students in his house with him.
   Before long time, the more people came to listen to his Zen talks at his small house. So, the Master lent a small apartment in Providence and began to transmit his Dharma Talk in there, and then around 50 to 90 Zen students gathered to listen per week. Finally, October 10th of the year, Providence Zen Center was opened with great.
   As the Dharma meeting at Providence had developed, so many lay-people came to become one of his Zen disciples from all the areas. Consequently, he opened Cambridge Zen Center in Massachusetts in 1974, New Haven Zen Center in Connecticut in 1975, and Dharma Zen Center in L.A. in 1976, one after another.
   From 1976, Seung-Sahn Zen Master has affected on lay-people very tremendously. For his teaching style, he has taught Zen students directly in the face of him, and corresponded with them frequently. Specifically, Stephen Mitchell who was called Ven. Moo-Gak as his buddhist name, published “Dropping Ashes on the Buddha in 1976”, which is the collections of the Master’s Dharma Talks, questions & answers with his students, stories for the old Zen masters or patriarchs, and the letters corresponded  with his American Zen students and so forth. In a twinkle, the book was recorded as a best-seller on the list, and then many people who read it wanted to become his disciples eagerly.
   Until now, in the US, there are opened 29 Zen Centers, and so many people are practicing Korean Seon(Zen/Meditation) under his teaching in there.
   2. Gan-hua Seon of Zen Master, Haeng-won, Seung Sahn
   The core of his teaching is ‘see your true nature!’ and practice to attain the ‘true nature’, as it is just substantial world for us.
   The Master said, “The most important thing that characterized their practice is that they simply looked inside, very deeply inside, to find their true nature. This is how the Buddha’s first students attained his teaching, preserved it, and passed it down to us.”9)There are layed emphasis on the ‘attain true-nature’ through his all teachings. The Master pointed that the true nature is already realized as it is.
   “Zen teaching is very clear and simple. It points directly at our self-nature so that we can wake up and help this world. When you see, when you hear, when you smell, when you taste, when you touch, when you think-everything, just like this, is the truth. Everything is Buddha-nature. Everything is your true nature.”10) “Zen Buddhism means going from the world of ignorance and delusion and attaining the perception that everything is truth, just as it is. This world is already complete, and never moving. If you want to attain that point, first you must let go of your opinions, your condition, and your situation. You can see clearly, hear clearly, smell clearly, taste clearly, touch clearly and think clearly. The name for that is truth.”11)
   Everything is already truth, and true Dharma. Zen Master, Seung-Shan admits all the styles of Buddhist practice to attain the true nature. He didn’t insist on any special word, any meaning or any form to get enlightenment.
   “In Buddhist practice we can say that there are four main techniques for learning  Buddha’s teaching: reading sutras, invoking the name of the Buddha, mantra practice, and meditation. Even though meditation is known to be the most direct way of realizing the Buddha’s teaching, each of these can help you very much. But if you become attached to sutras, or to invoking the Buddha’s name, or to mantras, or even to certain aspects of formal sitting meditation, then any one of these techniques will hinder you and drag you off the path. So the important thing to remember is not to become attached to anything, but rather to use each practice or technique correctly to find your true nature.”12)
   Though our goal is to attain true nature ultimately, every technique will be helpful for us as the above; reading sutra, invoking the name of the Buddha, mantra practice, and meditation. “No matter what the tradition, the point of any meditation practice is to help you realize your own original nature so that you can help all sentient beings get out of suffering. Meditation(Zen) is not about making something special. It is not about having some peaceful experience of stillness and bliss.”13) The most important thing is finding your true nature, not the technique, the Master means that.
   But the Master insists on the practicing whatever you’ve got enlightened in your everyday life. Of course, even though attaining true nature means that we have nothing to attain because everything is already complete, through the practicing to attain, we could keep a not-moving mind in any situation or condition and control the mind clear from moment to moment and control all the functions correctly to help all sentient beings. Meditation doesn’t mean only sitting in a straight posture, but keep your mind clearly all the time. “So moment-to-moment do-it mind is very important. Just-now mind. It has no subject and no object.”14)
   Hereby, Zen Master, Seung-Shan  specially teaches Gan-hua Seon as a technique for practicing. In his teaching there are two types of kong-ans(hua-t’ou/ big question); one is for looking inside, and the other is for testing the hua-t’ou(big questions) as follow; ‘Who am I?’, ‘What am I?’, ‘Only don’t know!’ and so forth. “There are many, many teaching words in this book. There are Hynayana word, Mahayana words, and Zen word. There are Buddhist and Christian words………..too many words! But all of these words are not necessary. Words and speech are only thinking, and thinking makes suffering. You must throw them all in the garbage! The reason for this is that our true nature is not dependent on understanding. This is why I only teach “don’t know.”…….”Don’t know” is not Buddhist or Christian or Zen or anything…………….I only teach ‘don’t know'”15) Master said, ‘never forget these big questions, ‘Only don’t know!’, ‘What am I?’ and so forth.
   “In the Kwan Um School of Zen…………., the point of kong-an practice is to show you how to connect your don’t know mind with everyday life. How does your meditation on the cushion find its correct function, from moment to moment, to help other people? Nowadays this world is moving very quickly, and there are always new situations………………..If you only hold on to ‘Mu(無, nothing)’, attach to old poetic commentaries, and make some special experience out of Zen practice, you will lose your way. When you step out onto the street keeping ‘Muuuuuuuu’, maybe you will be hit by a car because you are only holding One Mind. However, our style of kong-ans means using kong-ans as practice to instantly perceive your correct situation, your correct relationship to that situation, and your correct function in that situation.”16)
   Not holding One Mind, but perceiving your correct situation in your everyday life using the kong-ans. His teaching means that practice to attain your true nature using kong-an, and get wisdom in everyday life. On these days, it is important to apply the kong-ans in our everyday living.
   These kong-ans were conventional methods for the Zen masters to review if their students got the right view through practicing in the past.
   “When a Zen student practices hard and claims to have attained some insight into his or her true nature, how can this be proven or shown? This is the meaning of kong-ans and kong-an practice.”17)
   “If some monk thought he got enlightenment, a master could test him by presenting him with the story or teaching of another monk’s enlightenment experience. Any monk who truly had some sort of realization would hear the kong-an and instantly understand its true meaning. “18)
   There are 10 major kong-ans available to Zen students. ①Does a dog have Buddha-nature? Joju answered, (Joju’s Dog /趙州無字) ②Joju’s “Wash your Bowls.”(趙州洗鉢) ③Seong Am Calls “Master.”(巖喚主人) ④Bodhidharma has No Beard. ⑤Hyang Eom’s “Up a Tree.”(香嚴上樹) ⑥Dropping Ashes on the Buddha. ⑦Ko Bong’s Three Gates(高峰三關). ⑧Dok Sahn Carrying His Bowls. ⑨Nam Cheon Kills a Cat(南泉斬猫). ⑩The Mouse Eats Cat food., and “Three Men Walking.” etc. “If you finish the Ten Gates(10 major kong-ans), you get this as special home-work. And if you pass this, the Zen master checks your center and you can get inka19)
   As the above, Seung Shan Zen Master’s Gan-hua Seon is composed of practice and checking with his kong-ans,”Only don’t know!” and so forth. This style is a little different from traditional practice in Gan-hua Seon of Korea. Traditionally, kong-ans(hwa-t’ou) are used to get enlightenment with practice. However, Zen Master, Seung Shan is using them to quest and answer for checking. He applies them in everyday life as conventional methods to get wisdom and to realize right view from moment to moment.
Ⅴ. Conclusion
   All the 3 Zen Masters do not insist on Gan-hua Seon only. They are using all the methods for practice such as; Mook-jo Seon practice, reading sutra, invoking mantra, counting breaths and so forth. If some monk said that I solved one Hua-t’ou, the Masters never admitted him to be a realized man. Because they are all stand for gradual enlightenment, rather than sudden enlightenment.
   Moreover, the Zen Masters give the big questions and check the answers to their Zen students in the face of them. By using kong-ans, the Masters lead their students to look back on their self-nature, and apply the attainments to everyday life.
   Hereby, I’d like to summary the patterns of Gan-hua Seon practice in the US.
First, all the Masters have practiced strongly under their own Buddhist views.
Second, they are emphasizing on the ultimate attainment of practice, not their own methods for practice. Therefore, they are using all kinds of methods to teach their Zen students such as; counting breaths, invoking mantra, reciting buddha’s names, reading sutras, prayer chanting and so forth.
   Third, they are stand for gradual enlightenment, not sudden enlightenment for practice. There are 3 stages to get enlightenment. Masters gives kong-ans to the practitioners every stage and checks the answers.
   Fourth, the Masters give hua-t’ou to their Zen students for contemplating original self-nature. Not only traditional kong-ans, but also common questions like ‘Who am I?’ are given to them.
   Fifth, the Masters give questions to the Zen students and check the answers continuously. Specifically, this is the main method that the Zen Masters teach their students.
   Sixth, the Masters teach to the practitioners Zen practice, and also to apply what they have learned or attained to their own everyday lives.
   The Zen Masters have found many Zen Centers in the US for themselves to teach their students, and they have already been able to speak English. Furthermore, now they are transmitting Dharma to the native Americans in active.
   For long time, the Zen Masters have considered how to teach the American lay-people and finally they got what the Western Zen practitioners want. Even though their methods for teaching are a little different from traditional styles, those are by far the best for the American practitioners, I think.
   However, I regret that I haven’t studied how the Zen Masters could overcome the cultural or social gaps between the countries, and teach the foreign people in the face of them directly. And I wonder how their teachings affected to the U.S. society or inspired to every Zen student spiritually. I haven’t looked for any social or environmental effects derived from the Masters’ Zen teachings yet.
   If I had an opportunity, I would review all the above and the prospects of Zen Buddhism for the future in the States.

Seungsahn Haengwon ( 1927 ~ 2004 )

Seungsahn Haengwon ( 1927 ~ 2004 )

Haengwon

1. Biography
Venerable Seungsahn was born in Suncheon, Pyeongannam-do, North Korea in 1927. He graduated from Pyeongan Industrial High School in 1945, and entered Dongguk University in 1946. He left for Magoksa Temple to become a monk in 1947 as he had become disillusioned with life. At that time, the political situation consisted of a confrontation between the ideological views of the left and right wings – between the same ethnic people after liberation from Japanese rule.

One day, he met Master Gobong(1889-1961) who was a disciple of Master Mangong. During the dialogue, he was unable to respond to the master’s questions. Master Gobong told him “If you don’t know, then go out and raise your doubt about it. This is the way to practice Seon.”

After this encounter he went into an intensive retreat at Sudeoksa Temple. During the free seasons, in between the practice sessions, he was particularly fortunate to be able to meet many of the famous masters of his day. He had a second chance to meet Master Gobong, while he was doing another retreat at Mitasa Temple. At that meeting, Venerable Seungsahn said; “As I killed all Buddhas of the three realms last night, I came back after cleaning up all of the corpses.” Seon Master Gobong said, “You are very naughty, how can I believe your saying?” Then Master Gobong began to ask Seungsahn the 1,700 gongan — Seon questions — and he was able to answer all of them without hesitation. So Master Gobong told to him, “As your flowers burst into bloom, I will be a butterfly for you.” And he gave his sanction or dharma transmission to Seungsahn. Therefore, Master Seungsahn, at the age of 22 in 1949, inherited the Korean Seon lineage from masters Gyeongheo, Mangong, and Gobong who had restored the Korean Seon tradition.

After finishing eleven retreats at Sudeoksa Temple, he joined the new purification movement to reestablish the Korean Buddhist tradition which was weak after Liberation and the Korean War. From then on, he worked at reestablishing the tradition once again and improving the Jogye Order which had lost its identity during the colonization period. Due to this, he was appointed the president of the Buddhist Newspaper (1960), and worked as a director of the General Affairs Department (1961) and director of Financial Affairs (1962) in the headquarters of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism.

As the Jogye Order became stabilized in 1962, Seungsahn was free to turn to other activities. He opened the Korean temple, Hongbeobwon, in Japan and this heralded the start of his spreading Buddhism outside Korea. Later on, he proceeded to set up Korean Seon centers in America, Eastern Europe, Western Europe, Russia, Africa and South East Asia from 1972. Master Gobong had told Seungsahn, when he gave his sanction, “You will spread the teachings all over the world.” Following his teacher’s saying, he opened over 120 Seon centers in 32 countries over a period of 35 years, resulting in more than 50,000 people becoming Buddhists. For his great efforts in propagation, he was given the world peace prize by WUM in 1985.

In 1987, he held the first Seon international conference with the title given by Seon Master Mangong, “The Whole World is a Single Flower” at Sudeoksa Temple. This meeting was aimed at unifying all people of different races and from different regions of the world under the Buddha’s teachings. The second and the third conferences were held at the same temple in 1992 and 1993 respectively. In 1992, he opened the International Seon Center in Hwagyesa Temple for training his foreign disciples and for the globalization of Korean Buddhism.

Throughout his life, he taught Korean Seon to domestic and foreign monks enthusiastically while he was head monk of Hwagyesa Temple. On November 30th 2004, he called his disciples together at Yeomhwasil room. All of them recognized his approaching death, and then they asked him. “When you die, what should we do?” He said, “Don’t worry, don’t worry. The great light is immeasurable; mountains are blue and waters flow.” With this song, he died at the age of 77 in 2004.

After his death, many people as well as many condolences came from all over the world. Mr. John Kerry who was the American presidential candidate in 2004 gave a condolence speech and expressed his regrets. He said his son was also very touched by the late Seon master’s teaching. Master Seungsahn’s foreign disciples are Venerable Musim, the head monk of Musangsa Temple, in Mt. Gyeryongsan; Venerable Murang, the head monk of Taeansa Temple; Venerable Hyon Gak, the head monk of the International Seon Center in Hwagyesa temple and the author of Man Haeng: From Harvard to Hwa Gye Sah and Venerable Cheongan from Hungary, as well as many more. All of them were ordained under him and chose the path of a Buddhist practitioner instead of living an ordinary life.

2. Writings
The trace of globalization of Korean Seon by Master Seungsahn remains clearly evident in his more than 20 written works, both in English and in Korean. The Whole World is a Single Flower — 365 Gongans for Everyday Life involves the gongans of Seon; The Compass of Zen explains in simple and easy language a way of understanding Buddhism; Dropping Ashes on the Buddha is a collection of his short dharma talks. These were all written for his foreign disciples in English and translated into Korean as well. Though these books were written for his foreign disciples, they have greatly influenced laypeople who want to know Korean Buddhism and Seon better. The book, Only Doing It involving his biography and his disciples’ writings, was compiled by his foreign disciples from all over the world; Only Don’t Know is a collection of letters about Seon practice and the lives and difficulties of the practitioners; The Moon Illuminated on the Thousand Rivers, and Seon poems Bone of Space are all well known as well.Especially The Whole World is a Single Flower which was published in celebration of his thirty years of propagating Buddhism describes his work in spreading Buddhism at a glance. involves the gongans of Seon; explains in simple and easy language a way of understanding Buddhism; is a collection of his short dharma talks. These were all written for his foreign disciples in English and translated into Korean as well. Though these books were written for his foreign disciples, they have greatly influenced laypeople who want to know Korean Buddhism and Seon better. The book, involving his biography and his disciples’ writings, was compiled by his foreign disciples from all over the world; is a collection of letters about Seon practice and the lives and difficulties of the practitioners; and Seon poems are all well known as well.Especiallywhich was published in celebration of his thirty years of propagating Buddhism describes his work in spreading Buddhism at a glance.

3. Characteristics of His Thoughts
Master Seungsahn used to give everyone Seon sayings whenever he met them. Examples include: “only don’t know,” “mountains are blue and water flows,” “what news is this,” – all like hwadu. He taught that the realm of impermanence is “mountains are rivers and rivers are mountains”; that the realm of emptiness mentioned in the Heart Sutra is “mountains are empty and rivers are empty”; and that the realm of reality is “mountains are mountains and rivers are rivers.” And he often said, “Through all of these realms, the realm of ‘mountains are blue and rivers flow’ is the realm of embracing the state of how the world of truth is to be taken and adjusted to the reality of righteous living.”

He used to frequently say “Only don’t know” to his visitors. Another one of his teachings was quoted from the Diamond Sutra: “Everything with form is an illusion. If you see things without form then you see the Tathagata.” He said “As everything which has its own name and form is illusion and untruth, don’t attach to it!”

His teaching did not just follow the hwadu of previous masters but adjusted to modern society. This is one of the most characteristic aspects of his teachings. He taught this world is “only don’t know,” and so following the path of the Buddha for finding our True Nature is the only way to find the True Nature of Buddhahood.