At the turning of a flower
His disguise was exposed.
No one in heaven or earth can surpass
Maha-Kashapa’s wrinkled face.
via Zen Koan Generator
When Buddha was in Grdhrakuta mountain he turned a flower in his fingers and held in before his listeners. Every one was silent. Only Maha-Kashapa smiled at this revelation, although he tried to control the lines of his face.Buddha said: `I have the eye of the true teaching, the heart of Nirvana, the true aspect of non-form, and the ineffable stride of Dharma. It is not expressed by words, but especially transmitted beyond teaching. This teaching I have given to Maha-Kashapa.’
Mumon’s Comment: Golden-faced Guatama thought he could cheat anyone. He made the good listeners as bad, and sold dog meat under the sign of mutton. And he himself thought it was wonderful. What if all the audience had laughed together? How could he have transmitted the teaching? And again, if Maha-Kashapa had not smiled, how could he have transmitted the teaching? If he says that realization can be transmitted, he is like the city slicker that cheats the country dub, and if he says it cannot be transmitted, why does he approve of Maha-Kashapa?
via Haiku Generator:
We have a problem.
“This page cannot be displayed”
What will I do now?
Lu Gen of the Tang dynasty was styled
Jingshan: he was a man of Wu prefecture. In
his official career he reached the post of
inspector of Shexuan, and also was a member
of the supreme court. He first asked Nanquan,
“I’ve raised a goose in a bottle, and it
gradually grew too big to get out; now, without
damaging the bottle or injuring the goose, how
would you get it out?”
Nanquan called to him, “Sir!”
Lu Gen responded, “Yes?”
Nanquan said, “It’s out.”
Lu Gen was awakened at this.
English translation by Thomas Cleary
A Zen Teacher saw five of his students return from the market, riding their bicycles. When they had dismounted, the teacher asked the students, “Why are you riding your bicycles?”
The first student replied, “The bicycle is carrying this sack of potatoes. I am glad that I do not have to carry them on my back!” The teacher praised the student, saying, “You are a smart boy. When you grow old, you will not walk hunched over, as I do.”
The second student replied, “I love to watch the trees and fields pass by as I roll down the path.” The teacher commended the student, “Your eyes are open and you see the world.”
The third student replied, “When I ride my bicycle, I am content to chant, nam myoho renge kyo.” The teacher gave praise to the third student, “Your mind will roll with the ease of a newly trued wheel.”
The fourth student answered, “Riding my bicycle, I live in harmony with all beings.” The teacher was pleased and said, “You are riding on the golden path of non-harming.”
The fifth student replied, “I ride my bicycle to ride my bicycle.” The teacher went and sat at the feet of the fifth student, and said, “I am your disciple.”
(source: Zen Forest Sayings of the Master, complied by Soiku Shigematsu)
A student approached a Zen master and asked, “What happens after we die?”
The master answered, “I don’t know.”
“You don’t know?” exclaimed the student. “But you are a Zen master!”
“That may be true,” the master said, “but I’m not a dead one.”
A zen master lay dying. His monks had gathered around his bed, from the most senior to the most novice monk. The senior monk leaned over to ask the dying master if he had any final words of advice for his monks. The old master slowly opened his eyes and in a weak voice whispered, “Tell them Truth is like a river.”The senior monk passed this piece of information in turn to the monk next to him, and it circulated around the room.
When the words reached the youngest monk he asked, “What does he mean, ‘Truth is like a river’?”
The question was passed back around the room to the senior monk who leaned over the bed and asked, “Master, what do you mean, ‘Truth is like a river’?”
Slowly the master opened his eyes and in a weak voice whispered, “OK, Truth is not like a river.”
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from the marvelous collection of Zen materials at Deoxy
The Stone Mind
Hogen, a Chinese Zen teacher, lived alone in a small temple in the country. One day four traveling monks appeared and asked if they might make a fire in his yard to warm themselves.
While they were building the fire, Hogen heard them arguing about subjectivity and objectivity. He joined them and said: “There is a big stone. Do you consider it to be inside or outside your mind?”
One of the monks replied: “From the Buddhist viewpoint everything is an objectification of mind, so I would say that the stone is inside my mind.”
“Your head must feel very heavy,” observed Hogen, “if you are carrying around a stone like that in your mind.”