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Daowu’s “Alive or Dead”

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.

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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.”

Commentary:
Concealing it is much more difficult than revealing it.
Not answering the question is more difficult than answering it.

©Boo Ahm

All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway

#zen #meditation #zenmeditation #enlightened #enlightenment #zenfools #photography http://ow.ly/i/LjNGN

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