Zen

Rinzai 167

Venerable ones, if one comes to see things thus, one gets rid of being obstructed by names like worldly and sacred. Thoughts in your mind do nothing but create understanding from the fingers of an empty fist, and you vainly do something unusual and abnormal with six kinds of illusions from six roots; eye, ear, nose, tongue, body and will. You belittle yourselves by modestly saying, “I am but a common man – he is a sage.” You bald idiots! What is the frantic hurry to wear a lion’s skin and yap like a wild fox instead of spreading the spirit of a man? You do not believe in the treasure in your own house, so you go outside searching, and fall into the trap of words and phrases of the old masters; relying on Yin, leaning on Yang, you cannot arrive at any real mastery of your own. So, encountering phenomena, you discriminate them. Encountering illusions, you cling to them. Because everything you touch causes you illusions, you cannot stabilise yourself.

Commentary:

‘Thoughts in your mind do nothing but create understanding from the fingers of an empty fist, and you vainly do something unusual and abnormal with six kinds of illusions from six roots; eye, ear, nose, tongue, body and will’ means that when your master reveals the true-Self by folding and unfolding his hand, you, deceived by the illusions of the motions of the master’s hand, guess in vain by using your knowledge. ‘What is the frantic hurry to wear a lion’s skin and yap like a wild fox instead of spreading the spirit of a man?’ means ‘Why do you say such nonsense while your appearance is not different from the Buddha’s?’. ‘You do not believe in the treasure in your own house’ implies that you have not realised that you are the very Buddha itself you are looking for. ‘You go outside searching, and fall into the trap of words and phrases of the old masters; relying on Yin, leaning on Yang’ means that you vainly grapple here and there with the words and phrases of old masters without grasping them clearly and talk nonsense with wild guesses just as a fortune teller does depending on Yin and Yang. This is why you are deluded by whatever reaches your eyes and ears and are attached to them. Chasing after them makes your lives unstable.

Student: “What is the treasure in my own house?”

Master: “Why don’t you rummage your house for it.”

©Boo Ahm

All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway

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

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