Fayan’s “Not Knowing”
Fayan of Qingliang Monastery had a profound experience and gave up worldly affairs. He assembled a group of people and travelled away from the lake region. On their way, they were caught by a rainstorm, and the valley stream swelled up, so they temporarily stayed at Dizang Monastery. Whilst there, Fayan asked Abbot Dizang Guichen for instruction.
Dizang said, “Where are you going, Reverend?”
Fayan said, “I am wandering on a pilgrimage.”
Dizang said, “What is the purpose of your pilgrimage?”
Fayan said, “I don’t know.”
Dizang said, “Ah! Not knowing is most intimate.”
Straightaway, Fayan had great realisation.
Student: “Fayan got enlightenment from ‘Not knowing is most intimate’. I don’t understand what it means.”
Master: “Not understanding is most intimate.”
Enlightenment is no other than knowing what you say.
All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway
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