"Wherever a person goes, his deeds, like a shadow will follow." - "Advice to a King Sutra"
Saturday Zen Service, Jan 10: 10:00am - 11:45am.
Koan of the Week
Gateless Gate #13: "Deshan Carries His Bowls'"
One day Deshan came down to the hall carrying his bowls.
Xuefeng asked him, "Old Master, the bell has not yet rung nor the drum sounded. Where are you going with your bowls?"
Deshan immediately went back to his room.
Xuefeng told this to Yantou. Yantou said, "Deshan, great though he is, he has not yet realized the last word."
Hearing of this, Desahn sent his attendant to summon Yantou and then asked him, "Don't you approve of this old monk?"
Yantou secretly whispered his intention. Deshan remained silent.
Sure enough, the next day when Deshan ascended the rostrum, his talk was quite different from usual. Yantou went to the front of the Zen hall and rubbing his hands together, laughed loudly and said, "Wonderful! How happy I am that our Old Man has realized the last word. From now on he'll be subject to no one on earth."
As for the last word, neither Gantô nor Tokusan have ever heard it, even in a dream. When I
examine this point, I find they are just puppets on a shelf.
If you grasp the first word,
You will realize the last word.
The last word and the first word,
These are not one word.
Desahn (b. 782 - "Tokusan" in Japanese) was an 11th generation master on the Shitou side:
Shitou -> Tianhuang -> Longtan -> Deshan
Xuefeng (b. 822 - "Seppo" in Japanese) and Yantou (b. 828 - "Ganto" in Japanese) were disciples of Deshan who would become 12th generation masters.