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Guishan’s “Do Not Betray Others”

Guishan’s “Do Not Betray Others”

One day Guishan pointed at a pair of straw sandals and said to Yangshan, “All hours of the day, we receive people’s support. Don’t betray them.” Yangshan said, “Long ago in Sudatta’s garden, the Buddha expounded just this.” Guishan said, “That’s not enough. Say more.” Yangshan said, “When it is cold, to wear socks for others is not prohibited.”

Student: “Why did Yangshan say, ‘When it is cold, to wear socks for others is not prohibited’?”
Master: “Because he knew why and how not to betray people who supported him.”
Student: “May I wear socks for others, too?”
Master: “No, you must not.”
Student: “Why not, Sir?”
Master: “For whom have you worn socks so far?”
Student: “For myself.”
Master: “What is yourself that you have worn socks for so far?”
Student: “I don’t know.”
Master: “How could you wear socks for others while not knowing yourself?”

Commentary:
You are allowed to wear socks for others only when you know who feels warm when you wear socks.

©Boo Ahm
All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway http://ow.ly/i/ANlOO

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