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About This Blog

Friday, 24 November 2017

383 – Xuansha Shibei

                A military commander was having tea with Xuansha Shibei and asked, “What is meant by the statement that ‘people don’t know it even when they’re making use of it’?”
                Xuansha offered the commander a rice cake. The commander accepted it, ate it, and then, after a while, put his question a second time.
                “Just that we make use of it every day and yet we fail to recognize it,” Xuansha replied.

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

382 – The Buddha and Manjusri

                The Buddha observed Manjusri standing by the gate. He called, “Manjusri, why do you not come inside the gate?”
                Manjusri replied, “I see nothing outside the gate.”

Monday, 20 November 2017

381 – The Buddha’s Practice

                When the Buddha and a group of monks were staying outside a particular village, some of the people from the community came to visit them.
                “What is your practice?” they asked the Buddha.
                “We sit, we walk, we eat,” the Buddha told them.
                “But doesn’t everyone do these things?” the confused villagers inquired.
                “Yes,” replied the Buddha. “But when we sit, we know we are sitting. When we walk, we know we are walking. And when we eat, we know we are eating.”

Saturday, 18 November 2017

380 – Mazu and Nanyue

                Nanyue Huairang had been a student of the Sixth Patriarch, Huineng, and, in turn, became the teacher of Mazu Daoyi. One day he came upon Mazu seated in meditation. Nanyue asked him, “What is it that you’re trying to accomplish by sitting like this?”
                Mazu replied, “I want to attain Buddhahood.” 
                Nanuyue nodded his head, then, without a word, picked up a piece of broken tile which was lying on the ground and began to rub it vigorously.  He kept this up so long that Mazu eventually inquired, “Master, if I may ask, what are you doing?”
                “I’m polishing this tile to make it into a mirror.”
                “But no amount of polishing will turn a tile into a mirror!”
                 “Neither will any amount of meditation, as you practice it, make you into a Buddha.” 
                “What should I do then?” Mazu asked.
                “If you were driving a cart and it stopped, what would you do?  Would you strike the cart or the ox?”