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Buddhadharma : Winter 2005
winter 2005| 36 |buddhadharma • 11• Zhaozhou’s “Losing the mind in Confusion” The bright shining sun lights up the sky. The pure whispering wind covers the earth. 1. This question has been batted about Zen monasteries for fifteen centuries; still, it remains fresh. 2. Each step follows the other. 3. This monastic is not very alert. Hello! Is there anyone at home? 4. He’s so kind. A smack on the side of his head would do as well. 5. Can you beat that? He understood. 6. This instruction may be difficult for this monastic. Zhaozhou said to the assembly, “ ‘if you have even a bit of discrimination, you lose your mind in confusion.’ 1 Do you have anything to say about this?”2 a monastic hit Zhaozhou’s attendant and said, “Why don’t you answer the master?”3 Zhaozhou left and went back to the abbot’s room.4 Later the attendant asked Zhaozhou for guidance and said, “Did that monastic who struck me have understanding, or did he not?”5 Zhaozhou said, “the one who sits sees the one who stands; the one who stands sees the one who sits.” 6 Zhaozhou often uses the third ancestor’s saying to test people, since there are many who misunderstand this phrase. they take his instructions as endorsement of blank consciousness. this is because they have not yet understood that in one there are many, and in two there is no duality. Zhaozhou always deals with people from the perspective of the fundamental matter. thus, he said, “the one who sits sees the one who stands; the one who stands sees the one who sits.” When thoughts disappear, the thinker disappears. When the mind is at peace, the whole universe is at peace. 1. It would seem that old master Jianzhi Sengcan (the Third Ancestor) is still prowling about. 2. What can possibly be said? 3. Although he acts like a good monastic, is he really? 4. Enough of this foolishness. 5. Although it may seem like a pitfall, it’s not. 6. It just doesn’t fall to this side or that side. Capping Verse notes main Case CommentarY Capping Verse notes