Once a monk asked master Doksan, “Where have all the Buddhas and patriarchs gone?” Doksan responded, “What’s your question?” The monk said, “I called for a fine racehorse to spring forward, but all that responded was a lame tortoise.” Doksan did not deign to respond to the remark.
Student: “Why did the monk say, ‘I called for a fine racehorse to spring forward, but all that responded was a lame tortoise’?”
Master: “Because you see just a lame tortoise without seeing a fine racehorse.”
Student: “Why didn’t Doksan say anything about the monk’s remark?”
Master: “Because you cannot hear him.”
Words and silence can be cut and broken. You should be able to hear that which cannot be cut and broken.
All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway
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