Yaoshan’s Discourse

Yaoshan had not given a discourse in the dharma hall for some time. The monastery director said, “The assembly has long been wanting to receive teaching from you. Please give a discourse to the assembly, Master.”

Yaoshan asked him to sound the drum. The monastics came together. Yaoshan took the high seat, sat there for a while, got down, and went back to the abbot’s room. The monastery director followed him and asked, “Master, you agreed to give a discourse to the assembly. Why didn’t you say a word?” Yaoshan said, “Scriptural teachers are for scriptures. Commentary teachers are for commentaries. What do you expect from this old monastic?”

Student: “Why didn’t Yaoshan say a word not to mention a discourse?”

Master: “Don’t say that he didn’t give any teaching.”


What matters is not a discourse but teaching.

©Boo Ahm

All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway

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