Hekiganroku, Case 57: Jôshû and the “Bumpkin”

Teisho presented by Arno Hess on 28/10/2023 at the sixth day of the 2023 Pathway Zen Sesshin at Bodhi Chan Meditation Centre, Springwood, QLD, Australia.


Before passing through, it’s all like a silver mountain and an iron wall.
After passing through, the self is intrinsically an iron wall and a silver mountain.
Should there be someone who asks how it is,
I would turn to him and say, “If, right here, you can reveal an activity,
See a circumstance, sit and cut off the main crossing,
Thereby preventing passage to ordinary and holy,
This is not yet beyond your inherent capability.”
If, however, it is not like this, observe well how it is with the ancient.


A monk asked Jôshû, “’The supreme Way is not difficult; it simply dislikes choosing’. What is
non-choosing?” Jôshû said, “Above the heavens and under the heavens I am the only one, alone and
exalted.” The monk said, “That is still choosing.” Jôshû said, “You stupid bumpkin, where is the
choosing?” The monk remained silent.


It’s as deep as the ocean; it’s as hard as a mountain.
Mosquitoes and gnats play with a fierce wind in the emptiness;
Ants and termites shake an iron pillar.
Picking and choosing, a cloth drum hanging under the eaves.

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