Zen

Rinzai 136

Or a student brings forward a phenomenon of purity before a master. The master, discerning it as just a phenomenon, grabs it and throws it into a pit. The student exclaims: “What a great teacher.” The teacher responds: “Bah! You don’t know bad from good.” The student then bows. This is called “a host sees a host.”

Commentary:

This paragraph shows how a master and a student see through each other. ‘A student brings forward a phenomenon of purity’ implies that a student reveals the true-Self with a tricky comment or a clever question that entices the master to follow the words. ‘Grabs it and throws it into a pit’ means that the master, sensing his intention, responds by revealing the true-Self with suitable words or an action that befits the situation. Then, the student, aware that he has already been seen through by the master, responds with words or an action that shows his admiration for the master’s enlightenment. Then, the master makes a comment like ‘Bah! You don’t know bad from good’ to check whether or not the student has grasped his intention. The student responds with suitable words or an action such as bowing, which implies, “I know what you mean. What I am showing you now is no other than what you mean”. When a master and a student see through each other like this, this is referred to as “a host sees a host”.

©Boo Ahm

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

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