Zen

Guishan Laughs Twice

Shushan went to see Guishan and said, “Master, I heard that you had said, ‘Words are like wisteria vines coiled around a tree.’ When the tree falls down and the wisteria dies, where do the words go?”

Guishan burst into laughter. Shushan said, “I came four thousand miles, peddling cloths to get here. How can you fool around with me?” Guishan called the attendant monastic and said to him, “Bring some money and reimburse this elder monastic.” Later Guishan said, “In the future a one-eyed dragon will reveal the point for you.”

Shushan went to see Mingzhao and told this story. Mingzhao said, “Guishan should have said, ‘Head is right, tail is right.’ You did not meet someone who understood you.” Shushan said, “When the tree falls down and the wisteria dies, where do the words go?” Mingzhao said, “Guishan laughs again.”

Upon hearing this, Shushan had realisation. Then he said, “Guishan hid a sword in his laughter.”    

Student: “Why did Guishan burst into laughter when he was questioned by Shushan?”

Master: “Because your tree still didn’t fall down.”

Student: “Why did Shushan say, ‘Guishan hid a sword in his laughter’?”

Master: “Because Shushan’s tree fell down but your tree didn’t fall down.”

Commentary:

This is a secret not because it is hidden but because you can’t recognise it.

©Boo Ahm

All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway #zen #meditation #zenmeditation #enlightened #enlightenment #zenfools #photography

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