Rinzai 137

Again, a student wearing a pillory around his neck and shackles around his ankles presents himself before the teacher. The teacher then puts another set of pillory and shackles on him. The student is overjoyed. Neither the one nor the other are capable of discernment. This is called “a guest sees a guest.” Venerable ones, I have just cited these examples so that you can know the straight from the crooked by discerning Maras and heresy.


This part shows what happens when a master and a student don’t see through each other, that is, when both are unenlightened. ‘Wearing a pillory around his neck and shackles around his ankles’ implies to have a lot of plausible words and knowledge about enlightenment. A master’s role is to remove such illusions from people and set them free from them. However, the teacher, thinking that the more knowledge one has, the closer one comes to enlightenment, makes matters worse by adding more knowledge to the student’s knowledge. This is to add more illusions to already established illusions. The student, unaware that the master’s words are another obstacle that prevents him from realising the true-Self, is as happy with the master’s words as a child would be with a box of sweets and attaches to it.

©Boo Ahm

All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway

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

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