Blue Cliff Record 44

Blue Cliff Record (Hekiganroku, Biyan Lu) #44
Heshan's "Beating the Drum"

  • HESHAN Wuyin (Kasan Muin, 884-960, 13th gen), disciple of Jiufeng Daoqian
  • an unnamed monastic
Yuanwu's Introduction
Case (Sekida)
Heshan said, "Learning by study is called 'hearing'; learning no more is called 'nearness'; transcending these two is 'true passing.'"[1]
A monk asked, "What is 'true passing'?"[2]
Heshan said, "Beating the drum."[3]
The monk asked again, "What is the true teaching of he Buddha?"[4]
Heshan said, "Beating the drum."
The monk asked once more, "I would not ask you about 'This very mind is the Buddha,' but what is 'No mind, no Buddha'?"
Heshan said, "Beating the drum."
The monk still continued to ask: "When an enlightened one comes, how do you treat him?"[5]
Heshan said, "Beating the drum."
[1] “Practicing and learning – it is called 'hearing'; exhausting learning – it is called 'being next [to the fact]' [from the Hôzôron by Jô-Hosshi (374-414)]. When you have passed through these two, it is called 'true gone-ness’” (Sato); "Cultivating study is called listening, ending study is called nearness; going beyond these two is really going beyond" (Cleary).
[2] "the 'true gone-ness'?" (Sato); "real going beyond?" (Cleary)
[3] "Knowing how to beat a drum" (Cleary -- all four times that Sekida gives "Beating the drum")
[4] “What is the true Reality?” (Sato); "What is absolute truth?" (Cleary).
[5] “When someone who knows the ultimate Truth comes,..." (Sato); "When transcendent people come,..." (Cleary)

Xuedou's Verse (Sekida)
Dragging a stone, carrying earth,
Use the spiritual power of a thousand-ton bow.
The old master at Elephant Bone Cliff [Xuefeng] rolled out three wooden balls.
How could they surpass Heshan's "Beating the drum"?
I will tell you, what is sweet is sweet,
What is bitter, bitter.
Oshobob's Comment
The case looks so simple from the outside, but from the inside it has tremendous meaning and is multidimensional. First, you have to understand what a drum is. A drum is emptiness enclosed. There is nothing inside the drum. That is our actual state. We are just an outside cover. Inside is emptiness. And just as the drum can speak out of emptiness, you are doing everything out of emptiness. This is one dimension of the meaning.

No comments:

Post a Comment