Daowu’s “Alive or Dead”
Daowu visited a family with Jianyuan for a condolence call. Jianyuan tapped the coffin three times and said, “Alive or dead?”
Daowu said, “I won’t say alive. I won’t say dead.”
Jianyuan said, “Why won’t you say?”
Daowu said, “I won’t say. I won’t say.”
Jianyuan could not understand at the time.
Student: “Why did Master Daowu not say an answer even though his student entreated him for an answer to his question?”
Master: “Whatever you may be offered, it is not yours until you take it.”
Concealing it is much more difficult than revealing it.
Not answering the question is more difficult than answering it.
All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway
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