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.
All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway