Book of Serenity 66

Book of Serenity (Shoyoroku, Congrong Lu) #66
Jiufeng's "Head and Tail"

Wansong's Preface
Even a person who can apply supernatural powers cannot let a foot down;
Even a person who forgot all karma ties and extinguished all thoughts cannot raise a foot.
You should say: Sometimes you kill by running, sometimes you kill by sitting.
How can you attain the proper balance?
A monk asked Jiufeng Daoqian, “What is the head?”
Jiufeng said, “Opening the eyes and not perceiving the dawn.”
The monk said, “What is the tail?”
Jiufeng said, “Not sitting on a ten-thousand-year-old sitting place [or "an eternal seat"].”
The monk said, “What if there is a head, but no tail?”
Jiufeng said, “After all, it is not valuable [or "not precious"].”
The monk said, “What if there is a tail, but no head?”
Jiufeng said, “Being self-complacent, yet having no power.”
The monk said, “What if the head matches the tail?”
Jiufeng said, “The descendants [practitioners of the Way] gain power without knowing it [or "it is not known in the room"].”
Hongzhi's Verse (Wick, italics Cleary)
A compass for the circle, a ruler for the square.
   Round in a compass, square in a ruler;
With use it functions well, with neglect it hides.
   Used, it acts; left, it's concealed.
Stupid and bumbling: a bird dwelling in reeds.
   Stationary, the birds resting on the reeds:
Backing and filling: sheep caught in a fence.
   Going back and forth, the ram caught in the fence.
Eating others' food, sleeping in one's own bed.
   Eating others' food,
   Sleeping in one's own bed.
Clouds rise and rain falls, dew collects and turns to frost.
   Clouds spring up and make rain,
   Dew forms and turns into frost.
The well-aligned jeweled string passes through the needle's eye.
   The jade thread is pushed through the eye of the golden needle.
The embroidered thread unceasingly vomits from the shuttle's guts.
   Silk floss unceasingly spits from the shuttle's guts.
The stone woman stops weaving, and night's colors turn toward noon.
   The stone woman's loom stops -- the color of night turns toward noon:
A wooden man travels the road, and the moon's silhouette moves to half full.
   The wooden man's road turns -- the shadows of the moonlight have reached the center.

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