Blue Cliff Record 62, Book of Serenity 92

Blue Cliff Record (Hekiganroku, Biyan Lu) #62
Book of Serenity (Shoyoroku, Congrong Lu) #92
Yunmen's "One Treasure"

  • YUNMEN Wenyan (Ummon Bunen, 864-949, 13th gen), disciple of Xuefeng
Yuanwu's Introduction (Sato)
Using the wisdom of no-teacher, one reveals the wondrous activity of non-doing;
Using the compassion of no-relationship,
one becomes an outstanding friend without being asked for.
In one word there is killing, there is giving life;
In the midst of a single activity there is letting go and holding fast.
Just tell me. Who has ever been like that?
To test, I cite this case, look!
Wansong's Introduction (Sato)
One has attained the great Samadhi of freely carrying out all godly deeds,
One understands and maintains the mystic utterances of all living beings,
One turns around Muzhou's “giant drill of the Shin Era,”[1]
One plays with the poisonous snake of the South Mountain of Xuefeng[2]
Do you know this person?
[1] An abusive expression meaning “good for nothing”, used by Muzhou to pull the practitioners to pieces. Yunmen was once thrown out of the door by Muzhou with these words, when he broke his leg and subsequently came to his great enlightenment.
[2] See BCR22/BOS24

Case (Sato)
Yunmen, instructing the assembly, said, “‘Within heaven and earth, in the midst of the universe, there is one treasure hidden in a body.’[3]
One takes up the lantern and goes to the Buddha hall; one takes the temple gate and puts it on the lantern.”[4]
[3] from the Hôzôron (Treatise on the Treasure Chamber of the Dharma) by Monk Jô (? -414). For "hidden in a body" others give: "hidden in the mountain form" (Sekida); "hidden in the mountain of form" (Cleary); "secretly dwelling in a mountainous shape" (Wick)
[4] Or: "You take the lantern, entering the Buddha hall, and take the temple gate, placing it above the lantern!" (Sekida); "Take the lamp into the Buddha shrine; bring the gateway on the lamp" (Cleary); "Holding forth a torch, facing into the Buddha hall, bring the triple gates above the torch" (Wick).

Xuedou's Verse (Sato)
Look, look! Who is holding a fishing pole on the ancient river bank?
The clouds roll on; the waters stretch out endlessly.
In the bright moon the white reed-flowers – see for yourself.
Hongzhi's Verse (Sato)
Rolling up all the reverberations, disliking fancy things –
Returning [to oneself], where is one’s life after all?
The woodcutter with the rotten axe-handle seems to find no path [back home];
In the pot in the cassia tree, as directed by Mr. Pot, a mysterious house is found.[5]
The night water with gold ripples reflects the moon;
The autumn wind blowing, the snow embraces reed flowers.
The cold fish are on the bottom, swallowing no baits;
Losing interest, one turns the boat homeward with a pure song.
[5] Once a man named Hichôbô was guided by a medicine seller named Mr. Pot to look into a pot in a cassia tree and found an entirely different world in it with beautiful palaces.

Sturmer's Verse
The Transit of Venus was observed
behind the garden shed
between a dented petrol can
and a broken-toothed rake.
Tiny planets could also be seen
in the back of my uncle's Holden.
He once drove an entire galaxy
from Ashburton to Timaru.

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