Saturday, October 28, 2006


19. Ordinary Mind Is the Way

Joshu asked Nansen: "What is the Way?" Nansen answered: "Ordinary mind is the Way." Joshu said: "How can I find it?" Nansen replied: "The more you seek, the more it slips away." Joshu insisted: "How can I find the Way if I am not supposed to seek?" Nansen responded: "The Way you seek is not a matter of knowledge or non-knowledge. Knowledge is illusion; non-knowledge is confusion. When you have really reached the true Way beyond doubt, you will be boundless and clear as the summer sky. Therefore do not ask which way is the right and which way is the wrong one; there is neither good nor bad way.

With these words, Joshu was enlightened.

MUMON'S COMMENT: Nansen was trying hard, yet he was not able to melt the ice of Joshu’s doubt. Regardless the enlightenment, Joshu will require thirty more years to exhaust that meaning.

The spring flowers, the autumn moon;
Summer breezes, winter snow.
If useless things do not clutter your mind,
You have the best days of your life.

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