"Life has an endless supply of voices at its disposal when it wishes to call out to us. Do you have an equal number with which to respond?"
- Barry Magid
- Barry Magid
Saturday Zen Service, Nov 15: 10:00am - 11:45am.
Koan of the Week
Gateless Gate #8: "Xizhong Makes Carts"
Master Yuean asked a monk, "Xizhong made a hundred carts. If he took off both wheels and removed the axle, what would he make clear about the cart?"
If you can realize this at once, your eye will be a shooting star and your spiritual activity like catching lightning.
Seung Sahn's Commentary:
In the vast sky, clouds appear and disappear. Already everything is clear.
Where the active wheel revolves,
Even a master fails,
It moves in four directions: above and below,
South and north, east and west.
The ocean god knows it's valuable, but doesn't know its price;
Left in the human world, its light illumines the night.
The founder of Zen smiles and nods his head;
Who knows the action hasn't a seam or gap?
Old Japanese Poem:
Put grasses together and tie twigs one to another:
Behold, here is a cottage!
Dismantle it and take it to pieces:
Behold, it is the original grass field!
According to Chinese legend, Xizhong, the inventor of the wheel, made many wheels and carts. Some translations say "Xizhong made 100 carts." Others say he "made a cart whose wheels had 100 spokes."
Yuean (1079-1152) was a later Zen master of the 22nd generation on the Mazu-Linji side:
Mazu -> Baizhang -> Huangbo -> Linji -> Xinghua -> Nanyuan -> Fengxue -> Shoushan -> Fenyang -> Shishuang -> Yangqi -> Baiyun -> Wuzu -> Kaifu -> Yuean
Yuean was the dharma great-grandfather of Wumen (25th generation).
This cart called my life, so painstakingly constructed:
So magnificent and intricate, wheels of 100 spokes.
How lovely to roll along in my cart,
If a bit bumpy sometimes.
I took it all apart once -- a friend helped.
I forget whether we ever put it back together.