Zen

Caoshan’s “Myriad Things”

A monastic asked Caoshan, “It is said in the scriptures that the ocean does not harbour a corpse. What is the ocean?”

Caoshan said, “It contains myriad things.”

The monastic said, “Then why does it not harbour a corpse?”

Caoshan said, “Those who have stopped breathing cannot stay.”

The monastic said, “If the ocean contains myriad things, why can’t those who have stopped breathing stay?”

Caoshan said, “Myriad things do not stop breathing.”

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Student: “Am I in the ocean, too?”

Master: “Considering your question, you are not.”

Student: “Why am I not in the ocean even though I am breathing now?”

Master: “The ocean contains a lot of stone. Can you breathe as the stone does?”

 

Commentary:

Ask any stone nearby how it breathes, and it will tell you the answer without fail.

 

©Boo Ahm

 

All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway

 

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

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