Blue Cliff Record 33

Blue Cliff Record (Hekiganroku, Biyan Lu) #33
Zifu Shuts the Door

  • ZIFU Rubao (Shifuku Nyoho, 870?-940?, 13th gen), disciple of Xita Guangmu
  • Chenzao, a government official (minister or deputy minister); studied Zen with Muzhou
Yuanwu's Introduction (Sato)
One does not distinguish between east and west; one makes no division between north and south.
And this, from morning till evening, from evening till morning.
Will you say that one is asleep? Sometimes the eyes are like a shooting star.
Will you say that one is awake? Sometimes that one calls south, “north.”
Just tell me, is this mindfulness, or mindlessness?
Is that one an enlightened sage, or an ordinary person?
If you can pass through this, and for the first time discern the ultimate place, you will truly know the “yes” and “no” of the ancients.
But just tell me, which time is this?
I’ll try to show you an example, look!
Case (Sekida)
Chenzao came to see Zifu.
Zifu drew a circle in the air.
Chenzao said, "I have no object in coming here. Why do you bother to draw a circle?"[1]
Zifu closed the door of his room.
[1] "“Your student has come, and that’s already a failure. Why do you bother to draw a circle in addition?” (Sato); "I've already missed the point just coming here like this -- how much more so to go on and draw a circle!" (Cleary).

Xuedou's Comment (Sekida)
Chenzao has only one eye.
Xuedou's Verse (Sekida)
Perfect the circle, pure the sound,
Bright and abundant the encircling jade,
Loaded on horses and mules,
Loaded on board the iron boats,
Given to those who know
The peace and freedom of land and sea.
He put down the tackle to fish the turtle
Xuedou comments here:
"Monks throughout the world can't jump out of it."

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