2018-03-05

Book of Serenity 52

135
Book of Serenity (Shoyoroku, Congrong Lu) #52
Caoshan's "Dharma Body"

Wansong's Preface
Those who have intelligence can understand through metaphors.
If you reach a point where no comparisons or analogies work,
How do you explain to other people?
Case
Caoshan asked Elder De, “'The true Dharma-body of Buddha is like the empty sky. It manifests its form corresponding to things – just like the moon on the water' (Golden Light [Suvarṇaprabhāsa] Sūtra). How do you explain the principle of this corresponding?”
Toku said, “It is like a donkey looking into a well.”
Caoshan said, “You put it in a nice way, but you were able to say only eighty percent.”
Toku said, “How about you, Master?”
Caoshan said, “It is like a well looking at a donkey.”
Hongzhi's Verse (Wick trans, with Cleary trans in italics)
Donkey sees the well; well sees the donkey.
   The ass looks at the well,
   The well looks at the ass.
Wisdom contains without exception,
   Wisdom is all-embracing,
purity permeates more than enough.
   Purity pervades, with abundance.
Behind the elbow, who discerns the sign?
   Behind the elbow who discerns the seal?
Within the house, no books are kept.
   In the house no books are kept.
Loom threads don't hang, a matter of the shuttle.
   The loom threads aren't strung -- the work of the shuttle:
Patterns emerge every which way.
The intent differentiates of itself.
   The pattern going vertically and horizontally, the meaning is distinct of itself.

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