Zen

Rinzai 119

When a student comes to a teacher for a teaching, the teacher presents tricky words or acts and plays them before the student. But the student sees through it; immediately he becomes the host because he does not fall into the trap. The teacher then reveals half of himself; the student shouts a Katsu. Or again, the teacher shows all kinds of differentiations to test the student. The student says: “You bald old rascal, you do not know good from bad.” The teacher is pleased and responds: “A true follower of the Way.”

Commentary:

‘The teacher presents tricky words or acts and plays them before the student’ implies that the teacher tests, or checks the student’s practice with words or actions that allure the student to be deluded by illusions. ‘Immediately he becomes the host because he does not fall into the trap’ means that upon seeing what the teacher presents, the student sees through what the teacher signifies by becoming the host who can distinguish guests, illusions from the host, the true-Self and makes a suitable response without falling into the teacher’s trap. ‘The teacher then reveals half of himself’ implies that the teacher reveals the true-Self through very plausible and tempting words, or acts, so as to check whether the student can distinguish the true-Self from illusions. ‘The student shouts a Katsu’ means that the student says, ‘I know what you mean. My Katsu is not different at all from what you are revealing now’. Then, the teacher can give him more intensive tests with a variety of tricky words which are often called koans. The student never fails to make a correct response to every koan presented by the teacher and says, “You bald old rascal, you do not know good from bad”. This means ‘I am never fooled by you, whatever you may say or do. Your trying to deceive me is rather making illusions’. Then, the teacher approves of the student’s enlightenment by praising him.

©Boo Ahm

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

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