Hekiganroku, Case 81: Yakusan’s “Look! The Arrow!” (Audio)

Teisho presented by Arno Hess on 17/09/2023 at the Pathway Zen Zenkai at Spring Hill, QLD, Australia.


Snatching the (enemies’) banners and stealing the(their) drums:
Even a thousand sages cannot discern it.
Cutting through complications through sitting:
Ten-thousand practitioners do not reach it.
(But) these are not extraordinary feats or wondrous deeds;
They are not innate abilities either.
Just tell me: what has one taken hold of to attain such wonderful things?


A monk asked Yakusan, “On the grassy plain there gather great and small deer. How can one
shoot the greatest deer of them all?” Yakusan said, “Look! the arrow!” The monk threw himself on the
floor. Yakusan said, “Attendants! Carry this dead fellow out of here.” Thereupon, the monk ran away.
Yakusan said, “This fellow will keep playing with mud balls for ever and ever.”

(Setchô took up this story and said, “He is alive for three steps, but he should die with five


The greatest deer amidst great deer:
You must see him yourself.
An arrow is shot:
He runs three steps;
If he is brought to life with five steps, he will form a herd and meet the tiger.
The true eye has always belonged to the hunter.
Setchô raises his voice and says, “Look! the arrow!”

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