Master Shigong asked Zhigong, a former abbot, “Do you know how to grasp emptiness?”
Zhigong said, “Yes, I know how to grasp emptiness.”
Shigong said, “How do you grasp it?”
Zhigong grasped at the air with his hand.
Shigong said, “You don’t know how to grasp emptiness.”
Zhigong responded, “How do you grasp it, elder brother?”
Shigong poked his finger in Zhigong’s nostril and yanked his nose.
Zhigong grunted in pain and said, “It hurts! You are pulling off my nose.”
Shigong said, “This is how to grasp it.”
Student: “How can you grasp emptiness?”
Master: “I can’t let go of it.”
Student: “How can you grasp forms?”
Master: “I can’t let go of it, either?”
When one thing is empty, all other things are empty.
When one thing is not empty, all other things are forms.
All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway
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