Book of Serenity 40

Book of Serenity (Shoyoroku, Congrong Lu) #40
Yunmen's "White and Black"

  • YUNMEN Wenyan (Ummon Bunen, 864-949, 13th gen), disciple of Xuefeng
  • YUEZHOU Qianfeng (Esshu Kempo, 831?-??, 12th gen), disciple of Dongshan
Wansong's Preface
When the wheel of activity turns, the wisdom eye is still bewildered.
When the jewel mirror opens, not the tiniest speck of dust adheres.
When the fist opens, nothing drops to the ground.
Being in accord with things, one knows the right moment.
When two swords cross, how will they interplay?
Yunmen asked Yuezhou, “May I ask for your answer"?[1]
Yuezhou said, “Have you ever come to this old monk or not?”[2]
Yunmen said, “If so, I must say I was too late.”[3]
Yuezhou said, “Is that so, is that so!”[4]
Yunmen said, “I thought I was Marquis White, but I find that you are Marquise Black.”[5]
[1] Or "your instruction?"
[5] Marquis White and Marquise Black are noted thieves in Chinese folklore. Marquise Black, a female thief, seems to have been the cleverer of the two.

Hongzhi's Verse (Wick, italics Cleary)
Bowstring and arrow-notch interlock.
   Bowstring and arrow-notch interlock,
The net's jeweled knots reflect each other.
   Jewels in the net face each other:
A hundred bull's-eyes shot with not an arrow lost
   Shooting one hundred percent bullseyes, no arrows are wasted;
Myriad shapes are perceived with ray after ray unhindered.
   Unifying all the various reflections, each light is without impediment
Obtaining the dharani of words, dwelling in the samadhi of play.
   Attaining total mastery of words and phrases,
   Dwelling in the meditation of roaming at play:
How subtle it is! The seeming and the real intermingled.
   Subtle is the interplay therein of relative and complete --
How surely it's thus! Everywhere to be oneself.
   It is necessary to be like this, free in all ways.

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