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Return To Emptiness

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7. RETURN TO EMPTINESS

(JOSHU WASHES THE BOWL)

 

A monk told Joshu: “I have just entered the monastery. Please teach me.”
Joshu asked: “Have you eaten your rice porridge?”
The monk replied: “I have eaten.”
Joshu said: “Then you had better wash your bowl.”
At that moment the monk was enlightened.

 

MUMON’S COMMENT

Joshu is the man who opens his mouth and shows his heart. I doubt if this monk really saw Joshu’s heart. I hope he did not mistake the bell for a pitcher.

 

MUMON’S VERSE

It is too clear and so it is hard to see.
A dunce once searched for a fire with a lighted lantern.
Had he known what fire was,
He could have cooked his rice much sooner.

 

HOKYO’S COMMENT

 

 

HOKYO’S COUPLET

Joshu and Lao Tzu drank from the same cup:
The enlightened monk has no name.

 

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6. FLOWER POWER

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8. THE HUB

 

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I AM NOT A HUMAN BEING

A Commentary on The Gateless Gate

©℗2020 Hokyo Jisetsu Walter Bitner
Illustrations ©2020 Carol-Margaret Bitner

 

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