A student monk asked Master Kempo, “I understand that all Buddhas of the whole universe enter the one road into Nirvana. Where is this one road?”
Kempo raised his walking stick, drew the figure “one” and said, “Here it is.”
Later, this monk went to Umon to ask the question. Umon, picking up his fan, said, “This fan reaches the thirty-third heaven, hits the nose of Sakra Devendra, the highest deity in these heavens, and gives a blow to the giant carp of the Eastern Sea, which tips over a rain cloud with its tail causing rain to pour down.”
Student: “Where is the one road into Nirvana?”
Master: “There is no way at all.”
Student: “Why not?”
Master: “Because you are already there.”
Student: “Why did Umon say that his fan reached the thirty-third heaven and hit the nose of Sakra Devendra, the highest deity in those heavens?”
Master: “Did you see his fan then?”
Student: “Of course, I did.”
Master: “Did you also see the fan hit the nose of the highest deity in those heavens?”
Student: “No, I didn’t.”
Master: “Don’t say that you saw his fan. You didn’t see even Umon.”
Try to see clearly what is just before your eyes.
How dare you hope to see Nirvana while not being able to see the fan before your eyes?
All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway http://ow.ly/i/xpdCi