One day from the High Seat, the master said: “Upon the lump of red flesh there is a True Man of no Status who ceaselessly goes out and in through the gates of your face. Those who have not yet recognised him, look, look!”
‘The lump of red flesh’ symbolises our physical body, ‘a True Man of no Status’ the true-Self, and ‘the gates of your face’ our sense organs which are eyes, ears, nose, tongue, and skin. ‘Those who have not yet recognised him’ means those who have not yet recognised the true-Self. His saying ‘Look, look!’ can sound dubious because the master didn’t specify any object to look at and this can lead people to wonder what the master was telling them to look at. However, this, as the critical point of this paragraph, is the way he showed the true-Self to the assembly. You ought to be able to see the true-Self the moment you hear his saying ‘Look, look!’. In order to see the true-Self, you should be able to see with your ears and hear with your eyes. When seeing, you should be able to hear, and when hearing, you should be able to see. Then, you can hear dharma talks from the cup and the tea spoon put before you and see the true-Self from the barking of your dog.
Student: “I still don’t know what master Rinzai told the assembly to look at.”
Master: “You cannot stop seeing and hearing it even for a moment.”
All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway
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