Tuesday, 9 April 2019


308. Someone appears under the tree in which the Zen practitioner is hanging from a branch by his mouth. Instead of offering to help the desperate man in the tree, this nameless someone presumes to ask him about the meaning of Bodhidharma's coming from the West. Master Kyōgen seems to suggest that by not answering the question the man of Zen would fail in his duty to the Dharma. But he acknowledges that if he does answer he will fall to his death. Kyōgen then demands to know how any one of us would act in such a situation. Would we cling to life and so fail in our Zen duty? Or would we let go of our most basic attachment by surrendering to the mysterious call of the Dharma? What does it cost to walk the Way of the Buddha?

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