Blue Cliff Record 47

Blue Cliff Record (Hekiganroku, Biyan Lu) #47
Yunmen's "Beyond the Six"

  • YUNMEN Wenyan (Ummon Bunen, 864-949, 13th gen), disciple of Xuefeng
  • An unnamed monk
Yuanwu's Introduction (Sato)
What does Heaven say? [Yet] the four seasons run their course.
What does Earth say? [Yet] the ten-thousand creatures are born.
Facing the direction in which the four seasons run their course, you must see the reality.
At the place where the ten-thousand creatures are born, you must see the function.
Just say now. Facing toward what place can you apprehend a patch-robed monk?
Having turned away from speaking, acting, moving, sitting and lying down; having closed up your
mouth and lips; can you still speak about it?
Case (Sato)
A monk asked Yunmen, “What is the Dharma-body?”[1]
Yunmen said, “The six can’t contain it.”[2]
[1] i.e., dharmakaya, which, along with sambogakaya and nirmanakaya, are the three bodies of Buddha. Dharmakaya is the body of ultimate truth. Or "What is the body of reality?" (Cleary).
[2] I.e., the “six roots” (eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, consciousness), “six objects” (color, voice, taste, touch, phenomenon), and/or “six consciousnesses/functions” (see, hear, smell, taste, feel, know), or any other "six"-ness (Sato). Or "Beyond the six" (Sekida); "Not contained in six" (Cleary).

Xuedou's Verse (Sato, italics Cleary)
One, two, three, four, five, six.
Even the blue-eyed barbarian monk cannot count it completely.
One, two, three, four, five, six --
even the founder of Zen couldn't count up;
The hermit of Shaolin [Bodhidharma] deceptively says that he transmitted it to Huike.
He claimed to have imparted it
to a successor at Shaolin,
Rolling up his robe, he also says that he is returning to India.
Then rolled up his robe and said he'd return to India.
India is endlessly distant; there is no way to find it.
India is vast, nowhere to search;
As of last night, he is facing the Milk Peak and pitching his tent.
Last night he came back to lodge on this peak.
Milk Peak: The mountain where Xuedou lived.

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