Zen

Manjushiri’s “Three Three”

Manjushiri asked Longquan, “Where are you from?”

Longquan said, “From the south.”

Manjushiri said, “How is Buddhadharma being maintained in the south?”

Longquan said, “Monastics in the declining age seldom follow the precepts.”

Manjushiri said, “How large are the assemblies?”

Longquan said, “Some three hundred—others five hundred.”  Then Longquan asked, “How is Buddhadharma maintained here?”

Manjushiri said, “Ordinary people and sages are living together, dragons and snakes are intermingled.”

Longquan said, “How large are the assemblies?”

Manjushiri said, “In front, three by three; in back, three by three.”

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Student: “What does ‘Ordinary people and sages are living together, dragons and snakes are intermingled’ mean?”

Master: “That’s the core of Buddha’s teaching.”

Student: “What does ‘In front, three by three; in back, three by three’ mean?”

Master: “That is not different from the number of the hairs on your head.”

Student: “I am still lost.”

Master: “You should know your age.”

 

Commentary:

Don’t try in vain to see what is beyond words with your eyes covered with words.

 

©Boo Ahm

 

All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway

 

#zen #meditation #zenmeditation #enlightened #enlightenment #zenfools #photography

 

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