Zen

Rinzai 141

When students flock to me from all parts, I sort them out according to three kinds of capability. If a middling to low one comes, I snatch away the phenomena but leave him the Dharma. If one with a middling to high ability comes, I snatch away both the phenomena and the Dharma. If one with an exceptionally high ability comes, I snatch neither the phenomena nor the Dharma nor the man. And if there should come one whose understanding is beyond the norm, I act from the wholeness without bothering about capability.

Commentary:

This paragraph shows how Master Rinzai teaches students, changing his expedients according to the capacity of each student. ‘I snatch away the phenomena but leave him the Dharma’ for a middling to low one means denying the existence of all phenomena, all forms that are all things which the student sees and hears by saying that they are not real but illusionary. ‘I snatch away both the phenomena and the Dharma’ for one with a middling to high ability means denying not only the existence of everything that reaches the student’s eyes and ears but also the Dharma, the true-Self by saying that there is no such thing as the Buddha, the Dharma, or the true-Self. ‘I snatch neither the phenomena nor the Dharma nor the man’ for one with an exceptionally high ability means saying that everything, including man, is part of the true-Self instead of denying its existence. ‘If there should come one whose understanding is beyond the norm, I act from the wholeness without bothering about capability’ means that if an enlightened man comes to him, he acts as oneness with him without bothering about his capability because he has transcended all forms and all expedients are meaningless to him.

©Boo Ahm

All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway

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

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