Book of Serenity 59

Book of Serenity (Shoyoroku, Congrong Lu) #59
Qinglin's "Deadly Snake"

Wansong's Preface
If it goes, it is retained;
If it stays, it is expelled.
Not going, not staying – it has no land.
Where will you meet IT?
At every spot, at every place.
Just tell me, what is this thing that is so strange and so wonderful?
A monk asked Qinglin, “How is it when a practitioner goes along a narrow path?”
Qinglin said, “You will meet a deadly snake on the great road. I advise you, do not run into it.”
The monk said, “What if I do run into it?”
Qinglin said, “You will lose your life.”
The monk said, “What if I don't run into it?”
Qinglin said, “You have no place to escape from it.”
The monk said, “Precisely at such a time, what then?”
Qinglin said, “It is lost.”
The monk said, “I wonder where it is gone.”
Qinglin said, “The grass is so deep, there is no place to look for it.”
The monk said, “You too, Master, must be watchful in order to get it.”
Qinglin clapped his hands and said, “This fellow is equally poisonous.”
Hongzhi's Verse
With the clouds as bait, with the moon as a hook, one fishes in the pure water;
Old with age, solitary-hearted, one hasn’t caught a fish yet.
After returning [to the common world, completing] the poem “Forsaking the Clamor”:
[Lo,] the only sober one upon the Bekira River.

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