Rinzai 45

Why do I speak thus? It is only because I see you, followers of the Way, all running about with an agitated heart, quite unable to stop, fretting yourselves over the playthings of the old masters.



‘The playthings of the old masters’ means the words of the old masters. ‘Fretting yourselves over the playthings of the old masters’ implies that we struggle to attain enlightenment by understanding Buddha’s and ancient masters’ words literally. Ancient masters would say, “However plausible and meaningful the words of Buddha and the masters may be, they are no better than poison.” However, this doesn’t mean that we should ignore all their words but means that we should accept them in the right way and that we should not miss their original meaning by clinging to their superficial meaning. Their words are pointing to what cannot be reached by explanations and thoughts.


Student: “What is it that can’t be reached by explanation and thoughts?”

Master: “It can’t be discarded by them, either.”


©Boo Ahm


All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway


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

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