Book of Serenity 19

Book of Serenity (Shoyoroku, Congrong Lu) #19
Yunmen's "Mt. Sumeru"

  • YUNMEN Wenyan (Ummon Bunen, 864-949, 13th gen), disciple of Xuefeng
  • An unnamed monastic
Wansong's Introduction (Sato)
"I cherish the activities of Shôyô and Shinjô:
All through their lives they pulled out nails and wedges from the people.”[1]
Why did they sometimes open the door and present a bowl of glue,
Or dig a pitfall on the road?
Try to examine and see!
[1] "Shoyo" is Yunmen; "Shinjo" is Muzhou, who led Yunmen to great enlightenment. The quote is from Xuedou, compliler of the Blue Cliff Record. Cf. Yuanwu's comment on BCR6.

Case (Sato)
A monk asked Yunmen, “Not a single thought arises: is there any fault or not?”
Yunmen said, “Mt. Sumeru.”[2]
[2]"According to Jain cosmology, Mount Meru (or Sumeru) is at the centre of the world surrounded by Jambūdvīpa, in form of a circle forming a diameter of 100,000 yojans" (Wikipedia).

Hongzhi's Verse (Wick)
Not raising a single thought -- Mount Sumeru!
Yunmen's Dharma giving is not meant to be stingy.
Come to accept it and you'll get a double handful.
Go doubt it and you'll never scale that thousand-yard height.
Blue oceans vast, white clouds at ease.
Between them there's not a hair's breadth.
A false cock's crow never deceives one;
be unsure and you'll not pass through the barrier.
Sturmer's Verse
Here's a thought for you:
the end of the universe,
or Death with a capital "D"
(as Saramago would say).
But whatever may happen
Mt Sumeru remains
backlit by flashes of lightning
absorbed in a deep silence.

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