Blue Cliff Record 50, Book of Serenity 99

Blue Cliff Record (Hekiganroku, Biyan Lu) #50
Book of Serenity (Shoyoroku, Congrong Lu) #99
Yunmen's "Particle after Particle Samadhi"

  • YUNMEN Wenyan (Ummon Bunen, 864-949, 13th gen), disciple of Xuefeng
  • An unnamed monk
Yuanwu's Introduction (Sato)
Passing beyond gradations and totally transcending skillful means,
activity and activity mutually mingle, while phrase fits with phrase.
If you do not enter the gate of great freedom, and gain the activity of great freedom, what will you take to weigh Buddhas and Patriarchs, or to divine and mirror the fundamental vehicle?
Just tell me: When one can directly cut upon meeting the activity, and act with total freedom with both the rebellious and submissive, how will one be able to say the word to leave the body?
To test, I bring this up, look!
Wansong's Introduction (Sato)
There is a special wisdom for chess, a special stomach for alcohol.
The sly rabbit makes three holes [to ensure escape], the clever monkey has luck a myriad times.
There is [yet] an obstinate fellow – just tell me, who is this fellow?
Case (Sato)
A monk asked Yunmen, “What is the dust-dust samadhi?[1]”
Yunmen said, “Rice in the bowl, water in the pail.”
[1] "Or 'only-dust samadhi.' 'Dust' comes from the expression 'six dust particles,' which means the 'six objects'; that is, the objects of the six sense organs: form, sound, smell, taste, things to be touched, objects of mind" (Sato's note). Others give "particle after particle's samadhi" (Sekida); "speck-of-dust samadhi" (Wick); "concentration on every atom" (Cleary BCR); or "every-atom Samadhi" (Cleary BOS).

Xuedou's Verse (Sato, italics Cleary)
Rice in the bucket, water in the pail.
"Food in the bowl, water in the pail" --
Even loquacious monks find it hard to put in a word.
The talkative teacher could hardly open his mouth.
Northern Dipper and Southern Cross.
There is no vying for position.
The North Star and South Star don't change positions;
White waves billow up to the heavens, and fall upon flat land.
White waves flooding the skies arise on even ground.
Trying, not trying.
Stopping, not stopping.
Trying doesn't apply, stopping does not stop,
Each one is the rich man’s son who lacks a shirt for his back.
Each one's a rich kid with no britches.
Hongzhi's Verse (Sato, italics Cleary)
“Rice in the bowl, water in the pail” –
Rice in the bowl, water in the bucket:
He opens his mouth and shows his guts,
Seeking for someone who can really understand him.
Opening his mouth, he shows his guts, seeking one who knows himself.
If you try to think, you fall into the second or the third level of activities;
Try to think and you fall into second and third impulses,
If you face it, you are a thousand and ten thousand miles away.
Face to face suddenly becomes ten-million miles.
Master Shôyô [i.e. Yunmen] hits the spot a little bit:
Master Yunmen realized a little bit:
Who would be equal with him in the “metal-cutting”[2] sharpness?
The metal-cutting meaning -- who is the same?
The heart-mind, more solid than a rock, stands alone without parallel.
The mind firmer than rock alone can be like this.
[2] “When two people are of one heart, their sharpness cuts metal asunder” (old saying -- Sato).

Sturmer's Verse
The grandfather clock
is full of cobblestones
It should be placed
carefully in a handcart
and trundled down to the ocean.
Only on the face
of the miller's daughter
will there be tears of forgiveness.

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