Obscures the clarity. If he answers, he will lose his life. What should he do? Even if you can explain the whole body of the Buddhist sutras, that is also useless.

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Obscures the clarity. If he answers, he will lose his life. What should he do? Even if you can explain the whole body of the Buddhist sutras, that is also useless. If you can answer the problem properly, you can kill the living, bring the dead back to life.

He stops up the monks mouth, And frantically they squeeze tears out from there dead eyes. As translated by R. At this, they all remained silent. Only the venerable Kashyapa broke into a smile. It does not depend on letters, being specially transmitted outside all teachings. Now I entrust Mahakashyapa with this.

I thought there should be something of particular merit in it. If at that time, however, all those attending had smiled, how would the eye treasury of the true Dharma have been transmitted? Or if Kashyapa had not smiled, how would he have been entrusted with it?

If you say that the eye treasury of the true Dharma can be transmitted, then that is as if the golden-faced old man is swindling country people at the town gate. If you say it cannot be transmitted, then why did Buddha say he entrusted only Kashyapa with it? Kashyapa breaks into a smile, Nobody on earth or in heaven knows what to do. If we took off the wheels and removed the axle, what would then be obvious? It moves in all directions in heaven and earth, and south and north and east and west.

Why was this? Why did he not attain Buddhahood? When an ordinary person has realized it, he is a saint. If a saint understands it, he is nothing but an ordinary person. If the heart-mind is realized, there is no anxiety about the body; If both body and heart-mind are completely realized, A holy hermit does not wish to be appointed lord.

A few days later Joshu went again to visit the monk and asked the same question. The monk answered the same way. Why is it Joshu did not admit the first and approved the second one? Where is the fault?

Yet perhaps Joshu is wrong. Or, through that monk, he may have discovered his mistake. The sword that kills the man Is the sword that saves the man. Where are you going with your bowls? Tokusan remained silent. Sure enough, the next day when Tokusan ascended the rostrum, his talk was quite different from usual.

How happy I am that our Old Man has realized the last word. When I examine this point, I find they are just puppets on a shelf. If one of you can say a word, I will spare the cat. Though through hearing a sound there may be realisation, or from seeing the form of an object the mind may be enlightened, nevertheless this is the ordinary way of things. Especially you Zen monks do not understand how to guide sound, use form, see clearly the value of each thing, each activity of the mind.

But though this is so, just tell me! Does the sound come to the ear, or does the ear go to the sound? But when sound and silence are forgotten, are both forgotten, what can you say of this state?

If you listen with your ear, it is hard to hear truly. But if you listen with your eye, then you begin to hear properly. But if not, everything is separate and disconnected. If you are not enlightened [it makes no difference anyway because] all things are as of one great family. And if you are enlightened [this also makes no difference to reality, in which] every single thing is different from every other things As translated by R. Knowing is illusion. Not knowing is lack of discrimination.

When you get to this perplexed way, it is like the vastness of space, an unfathomable void, so how can it be this or that, yes or no? Even though Joshu came to a realization, he must delve into it another thirty years before he can understand it fully. But there is nobody who can recognize this. However, even someone who realized this immediately would be given a bitter blow by me. If you want to know whether it is pure gold or not, you must look at it in the midst of fire.

Please finish this poem in your own words. Suddenly he took up the shit-stick to support the gate of Buddhism. You can see how the Dharma has decayed. Hear the Truth! If he opens his mouth, he is lost; if he shuts it he is lost. If he neither opens it nor shuts it, he is a hundred and eight thousand miles away from reality. Bogie of bogies, He is just upsetting the whole congregation. Blyth Tokusan was studying Zen under Ryutan.

One night he came to Ryutan and asked many questions. Just as Tokusan received it, Ryutan blew it out. At that moment the mind of Tokusan was opened. His teeth are like the sword tree, his mouth is like the blood bowl. If you hit him hard with a big stick, he will not even so much as look back at you.

Someday he will mount the highest peak and carry my teaching there. However profound the complicated knowledge of the world, compared to this enlightenment it is like one drop of water to the great ocean. They are all wrong. I must teach them. Which mind do you propose to use for them? So he went to Ryutan in all humility, quite different from when he had started his journey.

Ryutan in turn was so kind he forgot his own dignity. It was like pouring muddy water over a drunken man to sober him. After all, it was an unnecessary comedy. His nose was very high But he was blind after all. But though this may be so, Daibai has misled not a few people into mistaking the mark on the balance for the weight itself.

Blyth A traveling monk asked an old woman the road to Taizan, a popular temple supposed to give wisdom to the one who worships there. Both had their faults. When the question is common The answer is also common. When the question is sand in a bowl of boiled rice The answer is a stick in the soft mud. Even so, his opinion did not surpass that of outsiders.

I want to ask you monks: How much difference is there between disciples and outsiders? Walk over the cliffs with hands free. Which is the real person? Myriad blessings, myriad blessings! Are [we and they] one or two? As translated by J. Blyth A monk asked Joshu why Bodhidharma came to China. If one receives words literally, he will be lost, If he tries to explain with words, he will not attain enlightenment in this life. But if he cannot say such a word of true Zen, he should turn back to his tail.

That little tail Is a very strange thing. If not, you cannot even save yourself. Once his mouth widely opens, His life is already lost. Blyth Daruma sat facing the wall. The Second Patriarch, having cut off his arm, stood there in the snow.

I beg the Teacher to give it rest. This was raising waves when there is no wind.


Wild fox koan

Shelves: poetry-stuff , non-fiction-stuff , philosophy-stuff "The worst enemy of Zen experience, at least in the beginning, is the intellect, which consists in discriminating subject from object. The discriminating intellect, therefore, must be cut short if Zen consciousness is to unfold itself, and the koan is constructed to serve this end. Suzuki I read this book after a series of discussions I had with a friend on the basic ideas of Zen Buddhism. On the one hand, Zen Buddhism looks as far from Western philosophy and religion as possible--but looks can be deceiving. The more I have read and learned of Zen Buddhism over the years the more familiar it is to Western philosophy. To me, Zen is one of many forms of trying to advance the overall Buddhist practice of alleviating the suffering and attachments of the material world. The name "Zen" is the Japanese rendering of the Chinese name Chan.


The Gateless Gate

Zen has no gates. Therefore Zen should be gateless. Now, how does one pass through this gateless gate? Some say that whatever enters through a gate is not family treasure, that whatever is produced by the help of another is likely to dissolve and perish.

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