Monday, 27 November 2017


173. Myosho echoed Isan's laughter and brought Sozan to awakening. Isan echoed the laughter of his own master Hyakujo who, many years before, had laughed and said, 'the head monk loses', and so had nominated Isan the founder of the monastery where Sozan in his turn heard that sword-like laughter ringing out. It would seem that Master Hyakujo was a great one for laughing, a laughter that he transmitted not only to Isan but also to his brilliant disciple Obaku. For on the occasion when Obaku had gone up to him and boxed his ears, Hyakujo had simply clapped his hands together, laughed and said, 'I was thinking that the barbarian had a red beard, but now I see before me the red-bearded barbarian himself''. The sword in Hyakujo's laughter cuts away illusion, brings to awakening and transmits the dharma to his legitimate successors. Have you heard this laughter echoing down through the centuries?

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