A. A pagan asked Buddha, “Without words, without silence, will you tell me the true Self?” Buddha kept silent. The pagan bowed and thanked the Buddha, saying, “With compassion you have cleared away the clouds of my mind and have made me enter into awakening.” After he left, Ananda asked the Buddha what he had attained. The Buddha said, “A good horse runs even at a shadow of the whip.”
Student: “The pagan asked Buddha to tell him the true Self without words and without silence, but Buddha kept silent. Why did the pagan say that Buddha had cleared away the clouds of his mind and had made him enter into awakening?”
Master: “It is because you are deaf that you say that Buddha kept silent. What Buddha expounded sounded so loud that it broke the pagan’s eardrums.”
Student: “What is the shadow of the whip that Buddha mentioned when he was asked by Ananda?”
Master: “You are not a good horse.”
The pagan and Ananda took the same medicine.
The former became well thanks to the medicine,
but the latter is giving dry coughs with it caught in his throat.
Why don’t you hear what Buddha expounded while hearing what the pagan said?
Why don’t you see the shadow of the whip that the pagan saw?
You are not only deaf but also blind.
All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway