NOTE: "What is Mu?" derives from the story that Master Zhaozhou was asked, "Has a dog Buddha nature?" and replied "Mu."
Porcupine came by Tallspruce one day to see if he could just hang out with Raven. He found her in consultation with Woodpecker, so he made himself scarce until Raven was free. Then he said, "You're an experienced master now. Do you have a general set of guidelines for your teaching of the Way?"Verse
Raven said, "Don't give away the nest."
Porcupine said, "You seem to be saying that you can only give hints."
Raven said, "I don't hint. I say it directly."
Porcupine said, "OK, what is Mu?"
Raven said, "Stillpond is an analogy, not a metaphor."
Porcupine said, "What's the metaphor?"
Raven said, "No longer a stranger to your inheritance."
Porcupine said, "Doesn't sound so direct to me.
Raven said, "OK, what is Mu?"
Your inheritance of joy and compassion,
What estranges you from it?
Every wave does, every ripple.
Your nest of understanding and love,
What gives it away?
Every ripple does, every wave.
The still water becomes clear,
Clear, clear down to the bottom.
Case by Robert Aitken; introduction and verse by Meredith GarmonPREVIOUS ☙ NEXT ☙ INDEX