Book of Serenity 21

Book of Serenity (Shoyoroku, Congrong Lu) #21
Yunyan Sweeps that Ground

Daowu Yuanzhi (769-835, 10th gen) and Yunyan Tansheng (780-841, 10th gen) were "dharma brothers" -- both were disciples of Yaoshan (751-834), who was a disciple of Shitou (700-90). Before going to Yaoshan, Daowu and Yunyan had studied and practiced together under Baizhang (720-814, 9th gen). 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.
Xuansha Shibei (835-908, 13th gen) and Yunmen Wenyan (864-949, 13th gen) were also dharma brothers, disciples of Xuefeng (822-908). Some 80 or so years after the exchange between Yunyan and Daowu, Xuansha and Yunmen share their comments on it.
When Yunyan was sweeping the ground, Daowu said, "You are having a hard time!"
Yunyan said, "You should know there is one who doesn't have a hard time."
Daowu said, "If that's true, you mean there is a second moon?"
Yunyan held up his broom and said, "What number of moon is this?"
Daowu was silent.
Xuansha said, "That is precisely the second moon."
Yunmen said, "the butler greets the maid politely."
Wansong's Preface
Although you are freed of delusion and enlightenment, and have exhausted holiness and ordinariness, a particular capability is still needed to establish holiness and ordinariness, a particular capability is still needed to establish who is host and guest and distinguish between noble and base. It is not that there is no measuring of character or assigning of work. How do you understand the kindred spirit of the same branch?
Hongzhi's Verse (Wick trans, with Cleary trans in italics)
Using what's at hand he finished up the yard.
   Borrowing temporarily, Yunyan comprehends the gateway;
He could use it and know when to desist.
   Realizing the function as is appropriate, Daowu then rests.
Before Elephant Bone Crag, a hand fiddles with a snake.
   The snake handler on Elephant-Bone Crag --
What you did as a youngster, now aren't you ashamed?
   The doings of childhood seem shameful when you're old.
Other Ancients Comment
In addition to to Xuansha and Yunmen, other disciples of Xuefeng, and of Xuefeng's dharma brother, Yantou, have also commented, though their comment was not included in the koan:
Changqing Huileng (854-932): "What if he had the broom turned on him and shaken in his face?"
Luoshan Daoxian (n.d.): "Ah, these two old guys don't know good from bad! This fellow Yunyan, bound hand and foot -- how long has he been dead?"
Baofu Congzhan (d. 928): "Yunyan is a lot like someone pushing a cart through mud, working hard every step of the way."
Shishin Wick's Comment
When we practice we are continually sweeping the ground of our mind. We sweep it clean, and then the dust settles again, and then we sweep again. Sometimes we're like kids. You tell your kid, "Clean your room." He'll say, "What for? It's just going to get dirty again!" Keep sweeping your mind clean. Since all is emptiness, who is the one who's hard at it? "You should know there's one who isn't hard at it." It's not a question of hard or easy. It's just a question of totally putting yourself into it, so that the self completely disappears, and all there is, is "hard at it." When there's no place to rest, you will know there's one who isn't hard at it.
Daowu said, "So, is there a second moon?" Who are you -- the one hard at it or the one not hard at it? If you say one, then there's two. So, is there a second moon? The one who's hard at it and the one who isn't hard at it: Are they the same or are they different? To see the one who's not hard at it, we have to penetrate through the barriers set up by the Zen teachers. To be the puppet master, you have to see that one who's not hard at it.
But we don't see it because we are fascinated and attached to two moons: good and bad; man and woman; the one hard at it and the one not hard at it.
When we look into our own mind there's all kinds of places where we stick, like Velcro. There's even places we stick that we don't see.
Don't think that Daowu didn't know what to say when he desisted. That was the way he answered Yunyan. It's just a second moon as soon as he says something.
The one who isn't hard at it, that's the same as not-knowing. If you come from that place, if you tap into that place, each one of us is not-knowing. Each one of us is the one who isn't hard at it. But the one who's hard at it is obscuring that view. We work so hard trying to be something else other than just being who we are. If you're nervous, just be nervous. There is no second moon in that.
Tova's Verse
Yunyan Sweeps the Ground
The One
is not busy.
Daido's Comment
Yaoshan teaches his cubs well. In playing together, they learn to clarify the business of the mountain lion. Yunyan's "What is not working hard?" is a phrase that contains the merging of the sacred and the profane. Can you see it? Daowu is not impressed, so he presses further to see if Yunyan will try to set up a reality body apart from the physical body. Yunyan responds to the imperative without falling into intellectual explanations. With a single stroke of the broom, he sweeps up heaven and earth. But say, has Daowu exposed Yunyan, or is it Yunyan who was exposed Daowu?
Daido's Verse
Working hard or not working hard --
this is not a matter of yin and yang.
How could the first moon be anything other
than the second moon?
Sturmer's Verse
Sweeping darkness
into a corner
only makes the room
unbearably bright.
Better for the defilements
to be left undisturbed.
Let them glow like embers
drift away like ash.
Hotetsu's Verse
Working hard is taking it easy.
Taking it easy is working hard.
The moon, for instance: nothing works harder --
Nothing's more at ease.
The river, for instance.
The flower beside the path.

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