Joshu’s ‘Great Way’

A monk asked Joshu, “They say that the Great Way is not difficult only if we don’t make a choice. What is not to make a choice?” Joshu answered, “Only I exist above and below heaven.” The monk said, “That is still making a choice.” Joshu responded, “What a bumpkin! Where is the choice?” The monk couldn’t say anything.

Student: “What is it to make a choice?”

Master: “Saying words is.”

Student: “Then, why did Joshu say he had not made a choice although he said, ‘Only I exist above and below heaven’?”

Master: “Because he didn’t say a word.”


Misusing the Buddha’s mouth as you please is the source of all calamity.

©Boo Ahm

All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway

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