Guishan’s “Great Capacity, Great Function”
Guishan said to the assembly, “People nowadays have great capacity but do not have great function.”
Yangshan related this to a temple priest.
The temple priest kicked over a stool.
Hearing about it, Guishan burst into laughter.
Student: “What is great capacity?”
Master: “Great function.”
Student: “What is the great function?”
Master: “Great capacity.”
Student: “Why do people nowadays have great capacity but do not have great function?”
Master: “Because they have great function but do not have great capacity.”
Student: “Why did the temple priest kick over a stool?”
Master: “Because you have great function but don’t have great capacity.”
Great capacity is to great function as air is to winds.
All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway
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