Blue Cliff Record 53

Blue Cliff Record (Hekiganroku, Biyan Lu) #53
Baizhang and a Wild Duck

Mazu (709-788, 8th generation) was the disciple of Nanyue (677-744, 7th generation), who was a disciple of the 6th Patriarch, Huineng (638-713). Mazu is the founder of the Hongzhou school, from which the the Linji and the Guiyang Houses of Zen derived. Mazu reportedly had 139 Dharma successors. Mazu appears in five of our koans: GG #30, GG #33, BCR #3 (BOS # 36), BCR #73 (BOS #6), and BCR #53. Baizhang (720-814, 9th generation) was one of Mazu's most renowned disciples.

When Great Master Mazu was walking with Baizhang, he saw wild ducks flying by. The Great Master said, "What is that?"
Baizhang said, "It is a wild duck."
The Great Master said, "Where did it go?"
Baizhang said, "It has flown away."
The Great Master twisted Baizhang's nose tip.
Baizhang cried out in pain. The Great Master said, "How did it ever fly away?"

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