Self is what is there before you cook it up with thought. --Kosho UchiyamaChants for Wed May 3 - Tue May 9 (from Boundless Way Zen Sutra Book. See: BoWZ Westchester Chant Schedule)
- Fukenzazengi 1, p. 36
- The Misunderstanding of Many Lifetimes, p. 28
Room 24, Community UU
468 Rosedale Ave, White Plains, NY
This week's reading: Kosho Uchiyama, Opening the Hand of Thought, pp. 27-39.
This week's case: Yunyan's 'The Whole Body is Hand and Eye,'Blue Cliff Record #89; Book of Serenity #54.
Daowu Yuanzhi (769-835, 10th gen) was a disciple of Yaoshan (751-834), who was a disciple of Shitou (700-90). Yunyan Tansheng (780-841, 10th gen), was also a disciple of Yaoshan and thus a "dharma brother" of Daowu. Yunyan's disciple would be Dongshan Liangje (807-69, 11th gen), the founder of the Caodong (Soto) school; thus, Yunyan would become the grandfather of Caodong (Soto) Zen.Case
Yunyan asked Daowu, "What use does the great Boddhisattva of Mercy make of all those hands and eyes?"BLUE CLIFF RECORD
Daowu said, "It is like a man straightening his pillow with his outstretched hand in the middle of the night."
Yunyan said, "I have understood."
Daowu said, "How do you understand?"
Yunyan said, "The whole body is hand and eye."
Daowu said, "You have had your say, but you have given only eight-tenths of the truth."
Yunyan sai, "How would you put it?"
Daowu said, "The entire body is hand and eye."
When the entire body is the eye, while seeing you do not see; when the entire body is the ear, while hearing you do not hear; when the ntire body is the mouth, while speaking you do not speak; when the entire body is the mind, while thinking you do not think. Putting aside the entire body, if there are no eyes, how do you see? If there are no ears, how do you hear? If there is no mouth, how do you speak? If there is no mind, how do you think? If you are familiar with this point, you are in the company of the ancient Buddhas. However, putting aside being in the company of the Buddhas, with whom should you study Zen?Xuedou's Verse (Sekida trans, with Cleary trans in italics)
To say "the whole" is all right;Hakuin's Comment
"The entire" is also well said.
All over the body, right? Throughout the body, right?
If you take it conceptually,
You are a million miles away.
Bringing it up is still a hundred thousand miles away.
When the giant roc spreads its wings,
The clouds of six directions vanish.
Spreading its wings, the roc soars over the clouds of the six compounds,
Its wingbeats lash the seas
Of the four realms.
Propelling the wind to churn the waters of the four oceans.
This is raising a speck of dust:
Much bleating but little wool!
What speck of dust suddenly arises? What wisp of hair hasn't stopped?
Don't you see!
Do you not see --
The net of jewels reflect each other!
The pearls of the net drape a pattern, reflections multiplied in each other.
Where does the eye of the staff come from?
Where do the hands and eyes on the staff come from?
I cry, "Tut! Tut!"
When you scoop up water, the moon is in your hands. It's like groping for a pillow while dreaming at night. Since the whole body all throughout is hands and eyes, Daowu's answer was lax.Tenkei's Comment
Daowu's statement, "You've said quite a bit, but you've only expressed eighty percent," is the sinew and bone of this koan. It is the eye of a Zen teaching master switching a state of potential, a strategy for revival, turning freely.Sekida's Comment
The great Bodhisattva of Mercy is Kannon (Avalokitesvara), who has a thousand hands and eyes. He (sometimes she) has empathy with all sentient creatures, looking into them individually and using a thousand different methods to save them.Yamada's Comment
It's like a man straightening his pillow. He has no thought but to arrange the pillow. He acts with his entire body and soul.
The whole body, the entire body: There can be no difference between these. But there can be a great difference in your degree of attainment and understanding.
The entire universe is an eye, in which case there is neither seeing nor being seen; there is no one who sees and nothing which is seen since they are completely one. The entire universe is an ear since it is totally one. Thus, there is no sound which is heard and no one who hears since hearer and heard are completely one. Since there is essentially no mind there is no thinking. Although we spend our entire day thinking about one thing or another there is actually not a single thought. Both “whole body” and “throughout the body” are on the mark. Nevertheless, if you just bring them forth as concepts, if there is the slightest intellection mixed in, they are far indeed from the truth.Rothenberg's Verse
Tossing and TurningBOOK OF SERENITY
If you were just an eye, you still couldn't see it.
If you were just an ear, you still couldn't hear it.
If you were just a mouth, you could not speak it.
If you were just a mind, you would not perceive it.
Now with no eyes, how would you see?
With no ears, how would you hear?
With no mouth, how could you speak?
With no mind, how can you think?
Clutching a pillow in the middle of night
All over the body are hands and eyes
all through the body are hands and eyes.
The eight compass points bright and clear. The ten directions unobstructed. Everywhere, bright light shakes the earth. All the time there is marvelous functioning and the supernatural. Tell me: How can this occur?Hongzhi's Verse (Wick trans, with Cleary trans in italics)
One hole penetrates space. Eight directions are clear and bright.Wick's Comment
One hole, emptiness pervading;
Crystal clear on all sides.
Without forms, without self, spring follows the rules.
Formlessly, selflessly, spring enters the pipes:
Unstopped, unhindered, the moon traverses the sky.
Unstopped, unhindered, the moon traverses the sky.
Clean, pure, jeweled eyes and virtuous arms:
Pure jewel eyes, arms of virtues:
Where is the approval in "throughout the body" instead of "all over the body"?
All over the body -- how does it compare to throughout the body being it?
Hands and eyes before you manifest complete functioning.
The present hands and eyes reveal the whole works:
The great function is everywhere. How could there be any hindrance?
The great function works in all ways -- what is taboo?
According to legend, as Avalokiteshvara looked down at the suffering of the world, her head literally burst from pain. Her spiritual father, Amitabha Buddha, put the pieces back together as nine new heads -- and her wish to help all beings caused the bodhisattva to grow a thousand arms, with an eye in the palm of each hand. With her manifold eyes, Kannon can perceive the suffering of all beings and with her thousand arms she can act to free them without limit.Charlie Pokorny's Verse
Totally asleep at night, somehow your head slips off the pillow and you grope around, trying to find it, without thinking, without discrimination -- like the mother who unhesitatingly cuddles her crying child. You don't care if the pillow has a satin pillowcase or a coarse linen one; you embrace any and every pillow without discrimination. In the same way, Avalokiteshvara embraces every being without discrimination, with total freedom of activity. Not limited by ideas of enlightenment or delusion, self or other, just embrace that pillow.
Hands and eyes transcend the body. We use them to save all sentient beings. These hands and eyes are not bound by observation, behavior or words; they're not limited by ideas or images. For the bodhisattva, they function freely.
Yunyan's "Great Compassion"Daido's Comment
Open the night eye, the all-gathering in eye
Of the yawning heart of this world -
Grope with the night hand, the transparent lotus hand
With all sentient beings already held on its palm.
If your whole body were an eye, you still wouldn't be able to see it. If your whole body were an ear, you still wouldn't be able to hear it. If your whole body were a mouth, you still wouldn't be able to speak of it. If your while body were mind, you still wouldn't be able to perceive it. Because of the activity of the Bodhisattva of Great Compassion is her whole body and mind itself, it is not limited to any notions or ideas of self or other. Asking the question in the first place is a thousand miles from the truth. Answering only serves to compound the error. Don't you see? Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva has never understood compassion.Daido's Verse
All over the body, throughout the body --Hotetsu's Verse
it just can't be rationalized.
Deaf, dumb, and blind, virtuous arms and penetrating eyes
have always been right here.
Compassion, in the darkness, seeing nothing,
acts with unthinking naturalness.
Being awakened is like being asleep --
Nondiscriminating, responding spontaneously.
A patch of violets beside the path --
What could be more awake?
What more could Compassion do?